WEST Lancs council was last night set to approve the Local Plan for development across the borough in the next 15 years – before it is submitted to a planning inspector for examination.
The plan covers everything from new homes and jobs to retail and leisure facilities, transport and local services and energy and the environment, ensuring they are in the most sustainable parts of the borough.
A consultation period for representations to be submitted along with the plan ended on October 5.
And last night councillors were asked to either approve the publication version of the Local Plan for submission or to reject the document, in its entirety, for submission.
A summary of representations submitted in relation to each policy were including in the report to go before full council.
Several groups have campaigned against development in their area in the last year.
The key areas of protest have revolved around proposals to build 850 new homes in Burscough, including 500 on Yew Tree Farm; for the fields at the top end of Parrs Lane in Aughton to be set aside for the development of up to 200 houses as one of the Plan B sites; and sites allocated for development in Up Holland.
Documentation submitted with the report to go before council detailed what representations had been submitted in the latest consultation round for councillors to examine.
In Skelmersdale, a number of representations were submitted in support of the general focus of the plan on the town, with a “fairly equal split” of objectors who either feel the housing target was still unrealistically too high and would never be delivered, and those who felt more housing should be allocated to Skelmersdale to drive regeneration.
The vast majority of representations relating to safeguarded Plan B sites objected to the removal from Green Belt of the Parrs Lane site – either because they do not feel the decision to do so is sound or because they have concerns over the consultation process and its legal compliance.
Regarding the Burscough development, representations were mainly objections to the inclusion of Yew Tree Farm as a development site in the Plan on grounds of soundness or legal compliance from local residents (or groups representing them) or from those with an interest in alternative sites that they believe should be brought forward instead of Yew Tree Farm.