AN ORMSKIRK resident has complained that West Lancashire Council’s Local Plan has done nothing to solve the town’s traffic problems.
More than 20 residents went to the latest Local Plan Forum at the council offices.
People were asked for views on the authority’s Local Plan, a blueprint for the borough’s future which could create 4,650 new homes and additional areas of employment land.
In Ormskirk, the proposals include building 250 homes on Green Belt land at Grove Farm. Another Green Belt site at Parrs Lane, in Aughton, is in the council’s Plan B strategy.
This could have 200 homes built on it if sites in the main plan fail to work out.
Sites on New Cut Lane, Moss Road and Fine Jane’s Farm in Halsall are also in Plan B and could have a total of 330 homes built on them.
One man said: “This plan has done nothing to solve the traffic problems in Ormskirk. There were proposals in a recent report for alternative routes for an Ormskirk Bypass, but the council is not moving them forward.”
Another said there were already huge problems on the A59, and these proposed developments would just add to them. Planning officer Dominic Carr said: “Highways officers at Lancashire County Council have said that the roads can cope with the extra developments. We are also looking at other ways of cutting down on any other problems that could be caused by them.”
There is a line in the plan which states the council will support the bypass’s delivery.
Another resident said: “The land at Grove Farm was designated as Green Belt land for a reason. Why is that reason no longer valid? This development will bring us closer to Burscough, and the towns could become one enormous mass.”
Mr Carr said Green Belt boundaries were reviewed every 20 to 25 years. He added that the council didn’t want to build on Green Belt land, but it had to meet housing targets.
Another resident suggested that rather than trying to build 250 homes on one site, the coun- cil should have more sites with a smaller number of homes.
A council spokesman said the borough had allowed for smaller sites within built-up areas coming forward. If smaller Green Belt sites were released, this would make it more difficult to deliver improved infrastructure and could have a greater impact upon the Green Belt.