A challenging planning application delivering 92 new homes at Plox Brow, Tarleton, on behalf of Barratt Homes.
NJL Consulting were instructed by Barratt Homes to act as lead planning consultants for a planning application proposing the erection of 92 houses and an area of open space at Plox Brow in Tarleton, Lancashire. The site is brownfield, containing the former Tarleton Mill building which is largely vacant. The site had formerly been an employment allocation, but West Lancashire Council had changed that to a mixed-use allocation in their new plan following the grant of an outline planning permission for a mix of homes and offices.
The key challenge with this application was demonstrating to the Council that not only was there no realistic prospect of delivering employment uses on the site, but that even a wholly-residential scheme would not be able to support the level of planning gain including affordable housing that they required.
Before the application was submitted, meetings with held with the Parish Council to discuss the proposals, whilst local residents were contacted and asked for their views on the proposals. These comments all fed back into the design of the proposals.
Various pieces of evidence were assembled by local agents Eckersley and Nolan Redshaw on the site’s employment prospects and past marketing. These were amalgamated by NJL into an Employment Land Report which satisfied the Council that a wholly residential scheme was the only way forward.
For the evidence in viability, NJL worked closely with a Chartered Surveyor and a Quantity Surveyor which ultimately led the Council to conclude that the value of the planning gain required would need to be significantly the level they originally requested.
With these key pieces of evidence in place, NJL assembled the planning application, leading on the community consultation and preparing the Planning Statement, Sustainability Statement and Statement of Community Involvement in-house.
Following submission of the planning application, NJL attended a number of meetings with West Lancashire Borough Council, who required clarification and additional evidence relating to viability and the principle of the loss of employment land as well as issues relating to the access of the site and a neighbouring industrial use. NJL managed the finely balanced planning application through to determination, assisting with preparation of the s106 and working with the Council on appropriate planning conditions.
The planning application was finally approved at planning committee in 2013 and Barratt Homes are looking forward to starting on site as soon as possible.
Jeremy Boyd, Land Director at Barratt Homes said, ‘The Tarleton application had a number of challenges to overcome, but NJL displayed tenacity and dedication in ensuring that all the issues were resolved in a manner that ensured that permission was delivered and the development of the site remained financially viable. As well as managing the planners, the way in which they got involved with the wider consultant team and proactively looked for workable solutions to problems as they arose was most welcome.’