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HOUSING: Plans for Brackenway development

HOUSING: Plans for Brackenway development

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Plans for a large housing development to the north of Formby are set to be approved again despite renewed concerns over flooding.

The proposals from Taylor Wimpey for 286 homes to the north of Brackenway were originally approved more than two years ago in March 2019.

However, delays in signing an agreement on Taylor Wimpey’s financial contribution to local infrastructure meant the approval could not be confirmed before Formby’s neighbourhood plan came into effect and Sefton Council must now revisit the plans.

When the proposals were originally discussed in 2019, independent Formby councillors Bob McCann and Maria Bennett claimed the risk of flooding at the site had been underestimated.

In a report prepared ahead of a planning committee meeting next week, a Sefton planning officer acknowledged that that was indeed the case, with the Environment Agency’s flood map significantly understating the area in the two highest flood risk categories.

However, Taylor Wimpey has since revised its plans to raise the level of the houses at the site and provide “dedicated areas for flood water to manage the situation”.

These changes have satisfied the council’s planning officer that the risk to the houses at the development and those on Hawksworth Drive will be reduced.

Formby Parish Council has still renewed its objections to the plans, saying that the flood risk is still underappreciated and that there were too many houses proposed for the site contrary to policies in the neighbourhood plan.

However, the planning officer’s report said the proposals could meet the requirements of both the local plan and the neighbourhood plan and has recommended approving the plans when the planning committee meets next Wednesday (August 25).

The report said: “The proposal would provide up to 286 dwellings including affordable homes in line with both neighbourhood plan and local plan policy, in an area which has a shortage of affordable homes.

“It would also make a positive contribution to maintaining the council’s supply of housing land and make an important contribution to meeting both the borough’s and Formby’s identified affordable housing requirements, as well as achieve the desired housing mix set out in the neighbourhood plan.”

The report also recommends securing an agreement from Taylor Wimpey to provide £188,760 to “mitigate recreational pressure on the Sefton coast” and ensure 30% of homes at the development are classed as affordable.

Words: Chris McKeon, Local Democracy Reporter

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