WEST Lancs council’s Local Plan for development across the borough in the next 15 years was submitted to the planning inspector last week.
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.
Cllr Martin Forshaw put forward the document, saying that after five years of work and a range of consultations a final decision had to be made.
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.
But there were concerns raised at the meeting about the number of houses allocated for Skelmersdale, with Cllr Roger Bell saying he hadn’t seen any evidence to justify lowering the housing targets in response to developers claims they would not be able to market the initial numbers.
He said: “More work should have been done to increase the number of houses in Skelmersdale.”
And Cllr John Hodson said: “What a golden opportunity for Skelmersdale has been lost here.”
But Cllr Forshaw said the numbers were the right balance and councillors had the option of backing the plan or rejecting it in its entirety and starting again.
The Local Plan was passed through and will now go to the planning inspector for consideration. He will then come back with his findings in due course.