Planning consultancy De Pol Associates has secured planning permission for a 93-home development in rural Lancashire following an appeal. The scheme at Copp Lane Great Eccleston has been given the green light by the planning inspector after a refusal by Wyre Borough Council’s planning committee last May.

Despite the application having been recommended for approval by council planners, the planning committee chose to refuse it on the grounds of traffic and highways, and that the scheme was located outside the settlement boundary and would have a visual impact on the open countryside. A local action group opposed the plan and presented its own evidence to the inquiry, in particular in relation to highways concerns.

Acting on behalf of land promoter Metacre, De Pol successfully argued against the reasons for refusal and appealed the £200,000 Section 106 contribution, which was also removed. Metacre is now set to put the 5.4 hectare site out to tender.

The inspector’s decision was handed down last week following an inquiry in December, just 10 months after refusal. De Pol managing director Alexis De Pol welcomed the approval: “We were confident that we had put forward a strong case for the inspector to overturn the council’s decision, and were therefore very pleased to receive the approval for our client.

“Although this is currently agricultural land, we argued that other local development was already extending the settlement boundary and that this was a natural and sustainable position for new homes, in an area which is unable to demonstrate a five-year housing supply.

“We were also able to demonstrate its sustainability, and the adequacy of public transport provision which not only supported our highways arguments but also allowed us to challenge the £200,000 S106 contribution which had been requested for public transport provision. The village is in fact well served by numerous bus routes and we were able to show the contribution was therefore not necessary for the sustainability of the scheme.”

In her decision, planning inspector Karen Ridge considered evidence from both sides with regards to increased traffic, pressure on junctions and within the town, and concluded levels were acceptable, as was the extension of the settlement. In conclusion she said: “I have found that there would be limited harm to the character and appearance of the area with minor to insignificant harm to the landscape types as a whole. I have concluded that there are no highway reasons which would justify withholding planning permission. I am satisfied that there are no other substantive matters which weigh against the proposal.

“I am wholly satisfied that the adverse impacts of allowing development do not significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits and as such the development proposal should be granted planning permission. I shall allow the appeal.”

Stephen Glenn from Metacre said: “De Pol’s robust case to the inspector has resulted in the planning refusal being overturned and a reduction in the S106 contribution of £200,000. This site now represents an excellent opportunity for homebuilders looking to develop new homes in aspirational locations and we are pleased it can go out to tender complete with outline planning permission firmly in place.”

The site is to be marketed by Armitstead Barnett, for more information please contact the agent on 01995 603 180.