Neighbours fear village will be swamped by homes

The area set for housing development if plans are approved
The area set for housing development if plans are approved

Plans for more than 100 houses in the shadow of the M58 have divided a community.

Morris Homes has unveiled plans for 116 properties off Chequer Lane and Tower Hill Road, in Upholland, just a stone’s throw from the motorway.

The potential impact of the estate on the outskirts of Upholland have caused protests to be lodged with West Lancs Council.

Janet Patton, of Tower Hill Road, said residents had previously been concerned about the smaller Wainhomes development, further along Chequer Lane.

“This planned development is twice that size and is going to have an ever-growing small village of Upholland, putting further strains on local services,” she added.

“Lack of parking in the village is a huge problem and doctors, dentists and schools are still finding it difficult to cope with demand.”

Another neighbour, Chris Gradwell, said: “Upholland can not support another 116 dwellings in a small area with such bad roads and poor publlic transport.”

He has predicted an extra 500 car journeys per day will be necessary for the residents of the proposed three and four bedroom properties to reach nearby shops, doctors and schools.

Lancashire County Council has formally objected to the bid, as planning officials are unhappy with the flood risk assessment.

Mr Gradwell added: “This massive new build will also look totally out of place in a semi-rural district which has a lot of problems with ground water run-off.

“When it rains for long periods water breaks out on to the footpath on Tower Hill Road and flows back towards Chequer Lane.There is also problems with the drains at the bottom of Chequer Lane, down by the brickworks ,which floods when we have heavy rain.”

Chris Dunderdale, flood risk manager, said the authority was particularly concerned about the risks presented by watercourses to the north-eastern and south-western boundaries of the land.

Planning agent Jake Crompton said: “The site forms part of a wider allocation for new housing in Upholland.

“The Wainhomes scheme comprises one half of the allocation and this has now been completed and occupied.

“The proposed development as part of this application comprises the second half of the allocation and this will be delivered by Morris Homes.”

In order to allay outstanding traffic concerns, it is proposed that a new access road is created, away from a ‘dangerous’ bend on Chequer Lane, which attracted complaints from neighbours in a consultation exercise.

Double glazing, high fencing and acoustics vents should tackle any concerns regarding noise from the M58, according to the agents.

And several surveys have been carried out to demonstrate that the proposals will not adversely affect any potential bat, brown hare, red squirrel and greater crested newt populations in the vicinity.

An allocation of affordable housing will also be provided off site, on land to the west of Abbeystead, in nearby Digmoor, say the developers.