Luxury estate saved just days before planning permission expired

Preston Golf Club Land - the housing will be built to the south of the course
-Credit: (Image: Google)

A planned luxury housing estate alongside Preston Golf Course has been kept out of the rough – with just days to spare before planning permission would have expired. The exclusive enclave of 10 five and six-bedroomed properties – on unused land to the south of the Fulwood Hall Lane facility – was given the go-ahead by preston-city-council>Preston City Council in June 2021.

The approval came with a standard condition that work must start within three years, but the blueprint is yet to get off the drawing board – meaning the permission would have lapsed on June 28 this year. A series of other conditions stipulated a raft of requirements that must be fulfilled before the development could commence.

With no sign of these being completed before the end of the month, the applicant, Imperial Fairway Limited, made a pitch to town hall planners to put the project back on course. It requested permission to be allowed to begin construction of the kerbline around the entrance to the development before conditions relating to issues including road safety, drainage, energy efficiency and biodiversity had been discharged.

In giving the green light to the change, the city council has enabled what will count as “a lawful start” to be made on the site – preventing the original planning permission from expiring and the whole process having to be restarted from scratch. A previous plan for a dozen dwellings on the plot was approved back in 2019 before an amended vision was given the nod two years later. Established woodland and hedgerows on the site will be retained “where appropriate”, according to the 2021 permission – and the golf course itself will be unaffected.

A report by planning officer Jonathan Evans noted that the principle of development on the site – classed as an “area of major open space” within Preston’s local plan – had already been established with the granting of the previous approvals. He concluded that the requested changes to the previously agreedconditions were “acceptable”.

A planning statement which accompanied the application to vary the timing for the discharge of those conditions states: “This change does not alter the fundamental reason for the inclusion of the conditions…and can be completed without harming their integrity. This will, however, allow the applicant to make a start on the site, keeping the planning permission extant and allowing the full build out of the scheme, once the conditions have been discharged through the submission and approval of the required documents.”