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  1. Published on: 14/11/2020 09:10 AMReported by: rogerblaxall
    Borough planning committee members have acted decisively on what was seen as a 'benchmark' application in relation to the future development of West Lancashire’s greenbelt.

    Members who discussed the complex application for the expansion of Smithy Mushroom Farm in Scarisbrick threw it out on Thursday on grounds of loss of both greenbelt and valuable grade one soil.

    The new plant would be bankrolled by Hyundai of S. Korea and has been in the pipeline for over 18 months after an initial open afternoon at Scarisbrick Village Hall last summer.

    Commented Burscough councillor Andy Pritchard: "An appeal is very possible, but fighting appeals is for another day and for the planning inspectorate, new evidence will be reviewed when that day comes.

    "The National Planning Policy Framework does put great importance on the loss of openness of the greenbelt and the loss of valuable grade 1 soil, which we here in West Lancs are blessed to have.

    "So after reviewing all the submitted information, I moved for a rejection on the grounds of visual impact and the effect on the character of the local landscape.

    "It was a successful rejection with fellow committee members backing the move.

    "The people of Scarisbrick and Burscough already experience heavy traffic on our roads coming down from the Motorway, so hopefully for the time being this result will maintain the status quo of the numbers of large vehicles we see heading down Pippin St, the B5242."

    He added: "I guess corporations that back these ventures may sometimes come to realise that when faced with stiff opposition from the local community it’s far easier to go and find an already existing Industrial site with good highway infrastructure and services in place, rather than develop an agricultural site which overwhelms the local countryside.

    "So we will wait and see, they do have the resources to go anywhere and invest in the world, they may just give West Lancashire a wide berth, who knows?"


     

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