Councillors split over Bolton-le-Sands homes plan as controversial scheme is narrowly defeated

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A major housing scheme proposal for Bolton-le-Sands was dramatically thrown out yesterday as councillors went against their own planners in a nail-biting vote.

Coastal Road residents celebrated as Oakmere Homes’ bid for 37 properties was defeated eight-seven.

Lancaster City Council’s planning committee debated the proposal and heard representations from ten speakers for around two hours.

The authority’s planning officers recommended that the 31 two-storey homes, flats and dormer bungalows be granted subject to 31 conditions, councillors backed residents.

Villagers argued that there was no clear need for more housing in the parish and that the triangular piece of land in question - 400 metres off Coastal Road by the canal - was the village’s last remaining greenfield site and, therefore, not sustainable development.

Oakmere Homes has confirmed it will appeal the decision.

Managing director Chris Middlebrook said: “We are naturally very disappointed that the council rejected plans for the development by such a narrow margin, because an appeal will inevitably involve both parties in a great deal of expense, and delay the start of building on the site.

“Oakmere Homes worked closely worked closely with the council in preparing the plans and it would appear that those councillors who voted to reject were swayed by a vocal minority rather than considering the development on its merits.“