Ingol Golf Village News:

Headlines:

January 2018: Construction Traffic Concerns

For several months now, IGVRA have been requesting details of the traffic route in connection with the construction of the new PNE FC training ground. In revision 3 of their Construction & Environmental Management Plan (CEMP), they admit that no construction traffic can enter the area via Boys Lane off Black Bull Lane, BUT will be accessing the site via Tom Benson Way/Eastway onto Wychnor and then Walker Lane.

IGVRA have highlighted the safety issues of using this route considering that all the construction vehicles – earth moving equipment, concrete mixing wagons, construction steels etc. – will be passing the Harris Primary School during the hours from 8.00am to 6.00pm.

Please follow the link below to register your concerns regarding this and other issues you may have regarding construction traffic using Wychnor/Walker Lane to access the development site.

https://selfservice.preston.gov.uk/service/planning/ApplicationSearch.aspx?Id1=2018012117274357625d0bb8474f3f

Planning application number is 06/2017/0986.

Thank you for your support.

Bruce Ellison
Chair IGVRA

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December 2017 Newsletter: Planning Inspector Decision

It is with a sad heart that I have to inform you that the Secretary of State has decided not to call in the planning application for the whole of the golf course. This means that the decision made by the Preston City Council Planning Committee to accept the planning application still stands.

We will now wait for the detailed planning applications for the housing and then try to protect the interests of our residents as well as possible through application of and enforcement of appropriate conditions; we are thinking here of mud on road, working hours, lorries parking with engines running outside of working hours, not using existing estate roads for access, etc. All the things that have not been adequately controlled so far.

Sorry to bring this sad news so close to Christmas, but we will maintain our vigilance for the detailed planning application and continue the fight to protect our neighbourhood.

Merry Christmas from your Committee.

Regards

Bruce Ellison
Chair IGVRA

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August 2017 Newsletter: Preston Council Decision

Sadly we are to have to report that the planning committee at today’s planning meeting voted 7 councillors in favour and 4 against accepting the planning application to build up to 450 houses on Ingol Golf Course.

We will be contacting the Secretary of State, Rt Hon. Sajid Javid, to confirm our request that the application be called in as it is accepted that it is contrary to the Local Plan.

Your committee is also considering a judicial review of the decision.

Regards,

Bruce Ellison
Chair IGVRA

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April 2017 Newsletter: Golf Course Closure & Two Planning Applications

As some residents will now have heard, the golf course has closed. Please read the attached newsletter for more information about the two current planning applications and how you can submit your objections. April Newsletter. (PDF).

The operators of the golf club have informed the IGVRA committee that they will continue to maintain the course in preparation for the planning application being rejected, and therefore the club will be ready to re-commence the playing of golf.

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New Threat: Cleator Manor's New Housing Development Attempt

Following the appeal rejection in May this year, we thought we might be in for a quiet couple of years. Unfortunately the owners of the Golf Course land, Cleator Manor have other ideas.

As many of you will have seen in the Lancashire Evening Post (6th September 2016), Cleator Manor has now enlisted the help of Preston North End FC, devising a plan for a football training academy on the back nine of the course. All of this is to be funded by a large scale housing development. Details of housing density and the location of the various plots can be found here (PDF file, 683KB).

It would be a very large development - far worse than the previous proposal - entailing a much greater degradation of the open green spaces around our communities. It would also destroy the area of separation which previous public inquiries have accepted as being so important for preserving the character of our various neighbourhoods.

At the moment, the planning consultant for PNE, PWA Planning, has only submitted a “Scoping Report”, which is a requirement if a planning application requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment is required. Fortunately, this new requirement now gives us the heads-up for an impending planning application, which we expect before the end of the year.

Details of the request for a formal scoping opinion can be found here on Preston City Council's website.

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Autumn 2016 Newsletter

You can download our Autumn 2016 newsletter here. (PDF 268k).

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The Community Wins! Public Inquiry Again Rejects Developer's Plans

Earlier this year, a Public Inquiry was held after Rowland Homes appealed against Preston Council's decision not to allow construction on part of the original Golf Course layout. The Inquiry took place in January 2016 and the verdict was announced on 16th April 2016. IGVRA is delighted to announce that the Planning Inspectorate officially rejected the developer's appeal.

This means that the open green space that is so important to local residents will remain firmly protected.

The threat of development had been hanging over the course since 2010, first in the shape of a proposal by Northern Trust and then later, in the form of a reduced-scale application by Rowland Homes. The fact that two successive Public Inquiries have denied those applications is something from which all local residents can take heart. Those decisions, coupled with Preston Council's larger scale housing plans - which retain the full-sized golf course as an 'Area of Major Open Space' - make the chances of future development increasingly remote.

IGVRA will now study the findings of the Public Inquiry with a view to publishing a more detailed response in due course.

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Important Newsletter - Public Inquiry Scheduled for January

As many local residents will know, Rowland Homes appealed against Preston Council's decision not to allow housing development on Ingol Golf Course. The developer's unpopular proposals for building on holes 6, 7 and 8 of the full sized golf course were originally rejected on a number of grounds (see article below) but despite the wishes of the local community, it remains keen to pursue its commercial ambitions.

The proposed development will now be the subject of a Public Inquiry, which will be held on to Monday 11th January 2016. It will be held in Preston Town Hall. It will start at 10.00am with a planned finish time of 5.00pm each day. The Inquiry is scheduled to last for 6 days.

An important newsletter explaining the process, can be donwloaded here: IGVRA Winter Newsletter. (PDF. 225kb.)

The IGVRA Committee is urging local residents to attend the Inquiry to show their support.

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Review of Public Meeting, 23rd October

On 23rd October, the Committee of the Ingol Golf Village Residents' Association held a public meeting. There were numerous important issues to be discussed and the IGVRA Committee felt it was important to discuss them with the local community

The principal reason for the meeting was that, as predicted, one of Northern Trust's preferred building contractors, Rowland Homes recently submitted a planning application to build houses on holes 6, 7 and 8 of the original, full sized golf course. Preston Council rejected the application but the developer will, of course, appeal the decision. In order to mount as strong a defence as possible, IGVRA needed to agree a plan of action with the community. This was essential for enabling us to counter the developer's claims and to support Preston Council's ongoing plans to establish and protect the whole of the original golf course as an Area of Major Open Space.

At the meeting, IGVRA highlighted serious risks to the future of the golf course brought about by the planning application recently submitted by Northern Trust & Rowland Homes. If they win the appeal, IGVRA believes that not only will the 40 acres be built on, but that eventually the whole of the golf course will be lost and be used for building.

IGVRA chair, Bruce Ellison expressed the view that we must protect the golf course and consequently, that we would have to be prepared to fight the appeal. The public at the Grasshoppers meeting fully agreed and backed the raising of the £7,000 required to employ the services of planning and golf consultants in order to further that cause.

Please help us by donating as much as you can to help IGVRA. Any surplus funds will be returned to you when we have done everything posssible to protect the future of the golf course. To enable us to return funds, please ensure that your donations can be tracked back to you by writing your name and address on the back of any cheques, or by giving your postcode and house number as the reference on any bank transfers. For security reasons, IGVRA would prefer not to receive donations in cash but if this is the only way you can donate, please put it in an envelope marked with your name and address.

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Two Easy New Ways to Raise Funds for IGVRA

Have you heard about easyfundraising yet? It’s the easiest way to help raise money for Ingol Golf Village Residents Association! If you already shop online with retailers such as Amazon, Argos, John Lewis, Comet, iTunes, eBay or HMV, then we need you to sign up for free to raise money while you shop!

So how does it work?
You shop directly with the retailer as you would normally, but if you sign up to http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/igvra for free and use the links on the easyfundraising site to take you to the retailer, then a percentage of whatever you spend comes directly to us at no extra cost to yourself.

How much can you raise?
Spend £100 with M&S online and you raise £2.50 for IGVRA. £100 spent with Amazon raises £2.50, £100 with WH Smith puts £2.00 in the Association's pocket and so on. There are more than 2,000 retailers on their site, and some of the donations can be as much as 15% of your purchase.

Save money too!
easyfundraising is FREE to use plus you'll get access to hundreds of exclusive discounts and voucher codes, so not only will you be helping us, you’ll be saving money yourself.

This is a simple and effective way to help keep the donations coming in. So please sign up at http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/igvra and start making a difference...simply by shopping.

Raise Money As You Search!
If you regularly use a search engine, then you can raise money for IGVRA while you search. http://igvra.easysearch.org.uk combines the results of several search engines such as Yahoo!, Bing and Ask to ensure you can always find what you’re looking for. EVERY TIME you search, half a penny is raised for IGVRA, so the more you use it and the more you tell your friends and colleagues, the quicker the money will mount up.

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Serious New Threat of House Building, November 2013

In a previous article, the Ingol Golf Village Residents Association committee voiced its suspicion that the recent hiving-off of holes 6, 7 and 8 of the former layout of Ingol Golf Course was a precursor to a new threat of housing development on this important area of open green space. Predictably, perhaps, these fears have proven to be well founded because Ingol Village Golf Club and housing developer Rowland Homes have just given notice of a public consultation event to be held on Monday 18th November at which the developer will set out plans for the construction of 175 new houses.

A copy of the flyer can be downloaded here as a PDF. (File size: 205kb).

The consultation event will take place as follows:

Monday 18th November
2pm to 7.30pm
Ingol Village Golf Clubhouse
Tanterton Hall Road

It is being co-ordinated by 'Local Dialogue', the same Leeds-based PR company employed by Northern Trust during the developer's first attempt to build hundreds of houses on the golf course, back in February 2010.

The developers say that they "would really like to know what you think about the proposals before a planning application is submitted so please attend our exhibition and give us your views." That, at least, is good advice. The last time we, as a community, defeated plans to build upon this important local amenity, one of the key factors behind that success was that so many of us voiced clear and united opposition to any proposal to build. It is vital that we do so again, and that we leave no doubt in the developer's mind that the local community will oppose such plans at every step of the planning process.

With that in mind, please attend the event on Monday 18th November and take the opportunity to voice your strong objections.

Please also bear in mind that this is very much a threat that affects us all - not just those living immediately beside the section of the golf course that is now at risk. It represents the thin end of the wedge, as IGVRA committee members and its expert planning advisors explained during the previous public meeting at Preston Grasshoppers in April 2013. The wider threat relates to the marketability of the 'reduced size' golf course: if the current operators, for whatever reason, were to pull out or fail to make a commercial success of the smaller-sized course, then the loss of holes 6,7 and 8 to housing would substantially reduce the options available to future operators who might otherwise wish to reinstate the longer holes.

In short, housing on this area of open green space could make the course wholly unattractive to future operators or investors, thereby putting the whole of Ingol Golf Course at risk and raising, once again, the threat of widespread housing development.

The IGVRA Committee therefore believes that it is absolutely essential to stop this new threat in its tracks, and the best way to do this is with a large and wholehearted show of opposition at the developer's PR event. So please, do all you can to attend and to voice your objection to these new and unwelcome proposals.

If you can't attend the event, then you can also object by writing to the following address:

Ingol Consultation
FREEPOST RRYZ-SKGA-CCET
Local Dialogue LLP
Goodbard House
Infirmary Street
Leeds LS1 2JP

When writing or voicing your objections, please do so in your own words but you may like to know that the committee will be objecting on the following grounds:

1. The proposals go against the Preston Local Plan, which designates the affected part of the course an “Area of Major Open Space”.
2. The proposed construction is not in an area designated for housing development.
3. It would erode the long term security and attractiveness of Ingol Golf Course itself.
4. The proposal is totally at odds with the Draft Masterplan for NW Preston, which is currently out for consultation.

Finally, please note that the committee will be publishing further advice about the most effective ways of expressing your objections (e.g. what subjects to cover, what issues to bear in mind etc.) so please check this website regularly and to look out for further correspondence from the committee. Further information will be sent out by email and in the form of leaflets.

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Golf Club's Busy Social Calendar

In view of Northern Trust's previous assertions that there was insufficient demand to sustain a golf course at Ingol, it's very heartening to see that the new operators are welcoming rising numbers of both players and social members to the club. Having a busy and prosperous Ingol Golf Club is certainly in the best interests of the local community and IGVRA therefore encourages any local people who have not already been to the club to pay a visit and see the facilities on offer.

The Lancashire Evening Post recently reported some of the many improvements that have been taking place on the course as it continues to be reclaimed and redeveloped. It notes that "with the help of local businesses and residents, more than £200,000 has been spent on renovations" and records that a new drainage system has removed 4.5 million gallons of rain water since its installation in April. The article notes that 480 social members joined on the club's opening day.

In the months ahead, the club will host a variety of events and attractions, as a recent mailshot from the operators explains:

"We are now getting ready for the busy Autumn and Winter programme of Social events and functions. New Year’s Eve will see a fantastic Hogmany Ceilidh featuring a traditional Band and a Caller. Full details will be coming out later.

"October 5th is the date for the End of Season Dinner including live music from Zoom. Club Secretary, Terry Baldwin is organising the event. He tells me that tickets are going very well (about 60 sold already) so if you are interested in meeting other members (golfing and social) want to find out what’s happened this year and what events are coming up, have a fine Dinner Dance then this could be for you. Call in to the Club for more details or 01772 723898.

"To kick start the Restaurant we will be running a promotion throughout the month. This will start in the Lancashire Evening Post on Saturday (7th September)."

More details about social events at the clubhouse can be found on the Ingol Village Golf Club website.

Annual membership fees range from £5 for social membership to £165 for casual membership or £549 for full playing membership.

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Local Plan Includes Proposal for 'Major Open Space'

As noted in our Summer Newsletter, Preston's Planning department has put its final “Call for Sites” document out for consultation. This defines the boundary of the “Major Open Space” that is being proposed between Ingol, Tanterton, Greyfriers, Fulwood and Cadley - a space that encompasses the whole of the original golf course (i.e. the larger, pre-closure course layout.)

At the end of this six week period, the intention is that the plans will be submitted to the Secretary of State for consideration and adoption. If successful, such a decision would add further protection to the whole of the open green space that we, as a community, have fought long and hard to defend.

More details can be found in the newsletter.

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Thanks to Ben Wallace MP

The IGVRA committe would like to extend its thanks to Mr Ben Wallace MP. He recently met with IGVRA vice chair Bob Lonsdale and Alan Brookes to discuss recent developments at Ingol Golf Course and to discuss the best ways of defending the area's open green spaces against the potential threat of future development. He provided some excellent advice and agreed to write to Preston City Council with a number of questions - the answers to which could subsequently help IGVRA to defend the area more effectively.

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PUBLIC MEETING: 18th April 2013. A New Threat of Development on All of Golf Course

around 150 residents attended the meetingOn the evening of 18th April 2013, the IGVRA Committee called an urgent public meeting for all local residents in order to draw attention to some very worrying developments on Ingol Golf Course and to explain the possible implications for the future of the course as a whole. It took place at Preston Grasshoppers on Lightfoot Lane.

The meeting produced another full house, as around 150 residents gathered to hear committee members and advisors discuss the potential threat to the future of the golf course. The session was introduced by IGVRA chair, Bruce Ellison, followed by updates from vice-chair Bob Lonsdale and Alan Brookes. There was also a short contribution from planning consultant Tim Brown.

Residents who have visited the recently re-opened clubhouse will be aware that a large area of land – taken up by holes 6, 7 and 8 on the previous course layout and representing around 20% of the total course area – is to be excluded from the proposed new layout. Bob Lonsdale explained that the fencing off of this land has led the committee to believe that a planning application by Northern Trust to develop that portion of the site may be imminent. This could entail the construction of as many as 250 houses.

IGVRA chair addresses residentsBob also went on to express the more general concern that the loss of such a large area of land to development could render the remaining course unappealing to golfers and, should the new operators fail to make it work, the course’s greatly reduced footprint would then make it totally unattractive to other potential operators or investors. In short, the hiving off of holes 6, 7 and 8 might well be the ‘thin end of the wedge’ and could end the sustainability of the entire course. (Alan Brookes reminded residents that the owners, Northern Trust, are primarily developers and will do everything possible to secure permission to build upon as much of the land as possible.)

The IGVRA committee explained its concerns about these recent developments and asked the local community for its feedback. In particular, residents were asked how they wished the committee to respond to this potential threat. The reaction was unanimous: all attendees voted in favour of the committee doing all it could to oppose the threat of development on any part of the golf course, now and in the future. It was agreed that IGVRA should continue to fight for the protection of the whole course and to stand against any attempt by Northern Trust to undermine the protection that the land has been given.

residents making their opinions knownHaving secured this mandate, the committee vowed to continue working on the community's behalf. Bruce Ellison pointed out that in order to present the best possible case to planning professionals, it would be important to have access to expert advisors and, for this reason, continuing fundraising would be necessary. Bob Lonsdale updated residents on IGVRA's accounts and Bruce reiterated that the preferred form of donations was cheques made out to 'IGVRA.' (For reasons of security and to minimise the risk of residents falling victim to fraudulent collections, IGVRA will not carry out door to door collections and will always discourage cash donations.)

After a question and answer session, the evening concluded with an opportunity for residents to meet committee members on a one to one basis in order to air their views, raise questions and share their concerns. Many members of the community also used the occasion to make donations and to put their comments in writing.

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IGVRA Newsletter - January 2013

A copy of the January 2013 IGVRA newsletter can be downloaded here. (PDF - 258k)

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Government Planning Expert Backs 15 Year Protection for Golf Course

On Sunday 24th June 2012, the Lancashire Evening Post reported that government Planning Inspector Richard Hollox had gone on record to state that Ingol Golf Course should remain protected for at least the next 15 years. He said that it plays a vital role as an area of separation that helps to preserve the distinct communities of Ingol, Tanterton, Greyfriars and other surrounding wards.

In his view, the land should be safeguarded against the treat of development for the duration of the local plan. In his report, he said: “A stroll over much of the land between these settlements enables appreciation of its attractive, tranquil, open and often sylvan character, and this alone is convincing evidence upon which to base this part of the policy.”

This is clearly a welcome verdict and one that is consistent with the opinions of people from all the local local communities, of Preston City Council planners and of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP.

Having found its development proposals rejected by every single official body and community group involved in the planning process, Northern Trust then appointed a professional agent to re-market the golf course with a view to finding a new commercial operator. The IGVRA committee was approached by a number of potential operators and expressed the view that it would support proposals from any organisation that seeks to protect the whole of the golf course and to keep it open and working as a long term, sustainable venture.

The full Lancashire Evening Post article can be read here. (Opens in a new window.)

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Planning Appeal Dismissed (Result of Planning Appeal - 28th October 2011)

Excellent news... On Friday 28th October 2011, IGVRA and local residents received news that The Secretary of State has DISMISSED the planning appeal from Northern Trust with regard to the proposed development of Ingol Golf Course.

The grounds given for dismissal of Northern Trust's appeal are consistent with many of the arguments put forward by residents and the committee, in that the Planning Inspector agreed that:

1. Closing down a golf club does not remove the policy protection afforded by Policy G6 of the Local Plan.
2. There is a need for the golf course.
3. The marketing exercise carried out by Northern Trust and its agents does not represent an assessment of need as required by PPG17.
4. The evidence supplied by Northern Trust did not support the proposition that Ingol Golf Club is not commercially viable.
5. The Secretary of State agrees with the Inspector that the overall integrity of the site, its character and its appearance would be greatly and unacceptably degraded by the proposed development.

This is the news we had all been hoping for and it is a cause for some celebration. However, the battle is not over. Now, we must wait to see if Northern Trust wants to appeal against this decision. If so, it has 6 weeks to lodge a challenge at the High Court. IGVRA will, of course, publish any news as soon as it becomes available.

local residents celebrate the good news outside Ingol Golf ClubResponding to the news, Bruce Ellison, Chair of Ingol Golf Village Residents Association said: “The whole community is absolutely delighted by this decision. Local residents have been united over this issue since the very first day: they wanted to see the golf course protected as open green space and retained as a valuable public amenity, so the Secretary of State’s ruling is marvellous news.

“We never accepted for one moment Northern Trust’s assertion that the golf club was commercially non-viable so we’re especially pleased that every authority involved in the decision-making process has rejected it. The proposal for giving the land over to bricks and mortar has now been opposed by Preston City Council, by the Planning Inspector and by the Secretary of State himself, so it’s great to see local people, the local authority and the national planning authorities all speaking with one voice on the matter.

“It is still possible that Northern Trust will put in an appeal to the High Court, of course, so we don’t think the battle is over yet. However, there has been such unanimous support for protecting this valuable green space that, should it go to the High Court, we feel that we have a very strong and convincing case.”

Ingol Golf Village Residents Association (IGVRA) was formed on 18th February 2010 at a public meeting attended by around 400 members of local communities including Ingol, Cottam, Tanterton, Greyfriars, Fulwood and Cadley. Since then, residents have worked hard to raise thousands of pounds to help fight the development proposal, they have attended public meetings and taken part in various consultations and events. Ordinary people throughout the area have put in thousands of hours of voluntary time to research information, to liaise with MPs and public officials and to keep their neighbours informed of new developments.

“This has been a massive collective effort on the part of the whole community,” said Bruce. “Local people have been very concerned throughout this process, but also very generous in giving their time, money and moral support. The IGVRA committee would like to express its sincere thanks to everyone who has played a part in this battle. This result certainly couldn’t have been achieved without them.”

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Review of the Public Inquiry

In our July newsletter, which you can download here, IGVRA Chair Bruce Ellison reviews the proceedings of the recent Public Inquiry. It will be some time before we know the result of this. The Planning Inspector will first submit his recommendation to the Secretary of State, Mr Eric Pickles, and this should reach him by September 2nd. Mr Pickles will then publish the final decision on or before 7th November.

The general feeling is that the Public Inquiry went well and that the various witnesses seeking to protect our open green spaces acquitted themselves very positively and effectively. To read a fuller description of the events over the three weeks, please download the newsletter here. (PDF format, 266kb.)

Travelling to the Public Inquiry

Just a reminder, the Public Inquiry to determine the outcome of the planning appeal by Northern Trust starts this coming Tuesday 14th June. If you can attend at any time during the Inquiry, which is planned for 14th to 17th, 21st to 24th and 29th to 30th June, please do so. This will help to show your support to the planning inspector. You can attend for full or half days or just for an hour or so.

On the first day, the inquiry starts at 10.00am. For the rest of the inquiry, the times are:

Start 9.30 am every morning. Lunch from 1.00pm to 2.00pm. Finish 5.00pm except Fridays when an earlier finish is proposed.

Bus routes:
Bus 4: (Wychnor) Garstang Road/North Road near B&Q.
Bus 44 (Ingol – Tag Lane) Victoria Road stop on Adelphi Street.
Bus 35 (Tanterton Hall Road) University stop (outside 55 degrees) on Fylde Road.

Nearest public car parks - Walker Street, Great Shaw Street.

Download the UClan travel guide here.

For information, there is a cafeteria on site for refreshments. (Download menu here.)

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Key Arguments and Rebuttals

In readiness for the Public Inquiry, IGVRA and its planning consultant mark Smith have prepared a series of documents setting out the key arguments why the proposed development by Northern Trust is inappropriate and counter to the wishes and best interests of the community. You can download these using the links below. (All files are PDFs.)

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Attendance at Public Inquiry

As most of you will know by now, IGVRA would like to ensure that the forthcoming Public Inquiry is well attended by local residents. This will demonstrate to the Planning Inspector the strength of public feeling in our community when it comes to protecting the open green spaces around us. To help to ensure that attendances at the Inquiry are properly co-ordinated, IGVRA has produced the following schedule, which shows the current numbers signed up for each session. (Bear in mind that there will be a morning session and an afternoon session on each day of the Inquiry, and local residents may attend either or both sessions.)

Date / Session Morning Afternoon
14th June 4 2
15th 2 2
16th 3 3
17th 5 1
21st 4 4
22nd 2 2
23rd 4 4
24th 1 1
29th 3 3
30th June 3 3

If you can attend, please contact igvra@tiscali.co.uk or call IGVRA chairman, Bruce Ellison on 01772 722739. That will enable us to update our attendance figures, to concentrate attention on days when our numbers are low, and thus to maximise our chances of showing a good turn-out throughout the course of the Inquiry. Likewise, if you would like to attend but you think you might have difficulties with transport arrangements, please let us know and we will do all we can to help - whether through organised lifts or helping to co-ordinate lift-sharing between residents.

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Pre-Inquiry Update

As we enter the final few days before the Public Inquiry, we'd like to bring you up to date on what has been a very fast-changing situation.

11th May - public meeting.
Your committee explained the urgent need for additional funds to pay for the services of an expert leisure witness at the forthcoming Public Inquiry. We explained that the expert witness will be essential for refuting the claims, made by Northern Trust that the golf club was closed down for reasons of commercial non-viability.

13th May - Preston City Council - golf witness.
IGVRA received word from Preston City Council that it, too, wished to engage an expert leisure witness to address Northern Trust claim that the golf club was non-viable and would like to take over IGVRA’s expert - Mark Smith. An emergency sub-committee was held on Saturday 14th, where the Council gave an assurance that it was prepared to pay all of Mark Smith’s fees. It is important to point out that, as of today’s date (28th May), this offer has not been officially confirmed in writing but all the indications are that the costs that IGVRA had expected to incur will now be paid by the Council instead.

This is clearly good news for local residents, whose recent generosity has enabled IGVRA to cover the potential cost of our leisure expert. The committee has always said that any unspent money will be returned to those who have made donations. Accordingly, as soon as the result of the Public Inquiry has been concluded, then any remaining funds will be returned on a pro rata basis.

17th May - Delivery of Witness Statements.
Alan Brookes and Tim Brown worked tirelessly to produce IGVRA’s 19 page witness statement highlighting our objections to Northern Trusts planning appeal. This included key evidence from board meeting minutes from Central Lancashire Development Corporation, produced via the Freedom of Information Act, analysis of strategic planning documents through to personal observations. Our thanks go out to these two people.

18th May - Golf Course Viability.
On studying the evidence by Northern Trust, regarding the non-viability of the golf course, it became evident that IGVRA might have to call on the expertise of specialists in the field of golf course maintenance/refurbishment. IGVRA duly found a suitable expert, with a view to rebutting the report by Planit, the company commissioned by Northern Trust to formulate costs for the refurbishment of the course to a playable condition.

23rd May - Golf Course Viability.
IGVRA heard that Preston City Council had employed experts in the field of golf course maintenance/refurbishment, once again, saving IGVRA the expense of such employment.

24th May - Delivery of Statement Précis.
Once again, Alan & Tim worked tirelessly together to précis Alan’s 19 page witness statement down to a 6 page document in order to meet the strict criteria laid down by the Planning Inspector.

30th May - Rebuttals of Evidence.
Tim Brown, in his capacity as advocate for IGVRA, has been studying replies to evidence given by Preston City Council and Taylor Wimpey, and offering advice on behalf of IGVRA.

Clearly, then, this has been a busy time.

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Accounts Statement

At the public meeting, some residents privately expressed some disappointment that the committee had not openly revealed the state of the IGVRA accounts. This in hindsight was a mistake. Essentially we were trying to give away as little information as possible to our opponents in the forthcoming Inquiry. But, given that the hearing is now so close, the committee agrees that it would have been appropriate to explain the financial situation more fully than it did. With that in mind, here is a summary of the present position.

• Current bank balance as at (28th May): £9,983.94
• Existing commitments (e.g. planning consultancy & expert reports): Approx £5,000
• Remaining balance: £4,983.94

The ‘existing commitments’ item relates to work that has already been agreed and which is in progress, such as the support of planning consultant Tim Brown and others. The remaining balance will be retained throughout the forthcoming fight in order to fund any actions that the committee feels are essential to our collective cause. As always, we will seek to spend the money wisely. Any funds remaining in the IGVRA account when the matter is finally resolved will be returned to those who donated them on a pro-rata basis. In the meantime, if any local residents would like to view the detailed accounts, they are welcome to do so. To arrange this, please email igvra@tiscali.co.uk.

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Submissions to the Planning Inspectorate - a Reminder

Please note that there is still time to make written representations to the Planning Inspectorate, setting out your objections to the proposed development on the golf course. This will lend vital weight to our case and will leave the Inspector in no doubt as to the strength of public feeling. If you have missed the committee’s previous guidance on how to make a written representation, please use this link or call IGVRA chairman, Bruce Ellison on 01772 722739.

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Public Meeting Fills Preston Grasshoppers

a packed audience at Preston GrasshoppersOn Wednesday 11th May, residents from throughout the Ingol Golf Village area converged on Preston Grasshoppers to take part in IGVRA's last public meeting before the Public Inquiry.

A packed meeting room of concerned residents heard a series of short presentations by Bruce Ellison (Chair), Helen Marquis (Treasurer), Bob Lonsdale (Vice Chair), Alan Brookes (Committee member) and planning consultant Tim Brown.

The key messages were that:

  • the forthcoming Public Inquiry will be a critical phase in the campaign to protect the open green space of Ingol Golf Course.
  • IGVRA will stand as one of the interested parties at the Inquiry, alongside Preston City Council and another housing developer that is arguing against Northern Trust's claim that the golf course should be developed.
  • IGVRA intends to call an expert witness to call into question Northern Trust's assertion that the Golf Club is / was not commercially viable.
  • The help of local residents is essential to the success of this campaign.

Bruce Ellison reminded the audience of some of the ways in which local people can help:

  • write to the Planning Inspector voicing objections to Northern Trust's case, (as suggested below).
  • encourage friends and neighbours to do the same.
  • attend the Public Inquiry, which will be held over a period of up to 12 days. (This will help to demonstrate to the Inspector the strength of public feeling on this matter.) The dates are as follows:
    14th to 17th June; 21st to 24th June; and 29th and 30th June. It is possible that the event will run to a further two days but this has not yet been confirmed. The sessions run from 9.30am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5pm. On the first day of the Inquiry, the session begins at 10.00am. Attendees are asked to arrive 30 minutes ahead of the start time to allow time for parking and seating.
  • help to raise badly needed funds, which will enable IGVRA to secure the services of a vital expert witness.
    Cheques should be made payable to "IGVRA" and should be posted to:

    87 Dukes Meadow, Ingol, Preston PR2 7AU

    A substantial sum needs to be raised but the committee and its professional advisers are confident that this could make a crucial and positive difference to the defence and long term protection of the land - both as open green recreational space and as an important area of separation that helps to preserve the distinct characters of different local communities.

residents queuing to donate or to volunteer their timeMany members of the audience signed cheques before leaving the meeting and many others promised to send their cheques by post. (Pictured right: residents queued to donate money and to volunteer their time.)

IGVRA would like to remind residents to include their names and addresses with any cheques sent by post. This will enable the committee to return any unspent money to residents on a pro rata basis in the event that there is a surplus of funds at the end of the campaign.

Finally, the committee would like to thank all those who have been generous enough to contribute towards the campaign and/or who have agreed to give their time to attend at least one session of the forthcoming Public Inquiry. The Committee will be drawing up a rota to help co-ordinate attendance over the 12 days of the Inquiry and details will be published on this site as soon as possible. In the meantime, anyone who is able to attend should contact Bruce Ellison at igvra@tiscali.co.uk.

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Public Inquiry - 14th June: How to Make Your Voice Heard
14th June will be the single most important date for the future of the golf course

As you know, Preston City Council recently rejected Northern Trust’s application to build around 550 houses on Ingol Golf Course. This decision is very welcome news but it is only the start of the fight. The crucial stage will be the Public Inquiry, which will begin on Tuesday 14th June 2011. It is here that Northern Trust will argue against Preston City Council’s decision and here that the fate of the golf course will be decided.

PUBLIC MEETING
Your committee would therefore like to invite you to a public meeting on Wednesday 11th May so that we can explain the next stage of the campaign and show how, with your help, we can defend our position and assist the Council in saving our community’s open green spaces.

The meeting will take place at Preston Grasshoppers at 7pm. Here, we’ll explain how we can work together for maximum impact and what you can do as an individual.

At this pivotal stage, all your support is vital. We need you to write letters of objection, to spread the word amongst your neighbours and to help to raise badly needed funds so we can hire a consultant and expert witnesses to support our case at the Inquiry.
Everything that we as a community have worked for in the last 14 months has been building towards the Public Inquiry. Winning the previous rounds will have counted for nothing if we lose this next, decisive stage so if ever there was a time to make your voice heard, that time is now.

As individuals we can help by making written representations, which are letters of objection, and by attending the Public Inquiry itself. It is very important that we do both.

WRITTEN REPRESENTATIONS
To express your views about the proposal, you should either send three copies of your letter to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/18A, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN or submit your comments online. To find out how, please click here.

In either case, please quote ref APP/N2345/A/11/2145837/NWF. Ideally, you should use your own words as these will carry more weight than a mass-produced letter. To help you to do this, the IGVRA committee has produced some guidance notes, which you can find here. Please make your views known. It is essential that we send in as many objection letters as possible so that the Planning Inspectorate is left in absolutely no doubt about the strength of local feeling.

ATTENDING THE INQUIRY
The Inquiry will start on 14th June at the Brookes Building, UCLAN. It is scheduled to last 12 days, having been extended due to the number of witnesses called by Northern Trust, Preston City Council and IGVRA.

It is extremely important that we have a strong turn-out throughout the whole Inquiry. This is our chance to demonstrate our unanimity as a community and our support for the City Council in opposing the plans.

The committee will be happy to help with travel arrangements and work out rotas so as to ensure maximum attendance every day. Please contact us if you are able to attend on any of the 12 days.

WE CAN WIN THIS
Wesham Action Group recently faced a very similar development threat from Metacre (another Northern Trust company), but by acting together and putting forward a very strong case at the Public Inquiry, the group won its case and the planning application was thrown out. We can do the same.

We are united as a community, we are supported by Preston City Council and, with your help, we will defeat this unnecessary, inappropriate and wholly unwanted development.

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Preston City Council Rejects Northern Trust's Planning Application: April 4th 2011
IGVRA Chair Bruce Ellison reports...

At this mornings’ Planning Committee Meeting, the application by Northern Trust to re-develop Ingol Golf Course was comprehensively thrown out by 10 votes to 3 votes with 1 abstention. This was following a very strongly documented recommendation by the Planning Officer to reject the plan. (See below.)

This, as we all know is not the end of the fight; just the end of round one. Your committee has already started working towards the public inquiry which will start on 14th June and which is pencilled in to run for eight working days. The venue has yet to be decided.

As ever, we will keep you informed about all developments as they occur.

I would like to offer a big thank you on behalf of the IGVRA committee, to all those within our community who attended this morning’s meeting.

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Preston Planners Recommend Application Refusal

More good news: the Preston City Planning Officer dealing with Northern Trust's planning application has recommended that the Planning Committee REFUSE the application when it meets on Monday 4th April 2011. The Assistant Director's (City Planning Officer) report was published on 29th March on the Preston City Council website.

A copy of the full report can be viewed here. (PDF format: 49 pages in all.)

Key reasons given for the recommendation to refuse the application include:

  • Inadequate detail or analysis has been provided to demonstrate that the proposal would not have an unacceptable adverse impact on the highway network.
  • The proposed development would, due to the location and nature of built development and the importance of the site as an area of amenity space and an Area of Major Open Space ... have an unacceptable detrimental impact on the landscape and visual amenity of the area and would involve the redevelopment of Greenfield land which the applicant has failed to justify.
  • The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the golf course facility has been adequately marketed for golf course or other community/leisure uses which would retain the amenity use of the site. The marketing period of three months was insufficient and the sales particulars were overly restrictive and did not allow interested parties the opportunity to fully investigate the lease. The applicant has also failed to demonstrate that there is an over-provision of golf courses in Preston or that the re-use of the site for non-employment purposes is justified. As a result, the proposal would result in the unacceptable reduction in access to recreational/leisure facilities within Preston.
  • The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposed development would not adversely impact upon protected species and habitats.
  • The applicant has failed to demonstrate that the proposed development could be satisfactorily remediated to prevent any undue impact upon ground conditions.

This is a very positive step but while this constitutes a formal recommendation, the Council's decision has yet to be made so it is important that local residents continue to do all they can to make any undecided councillors aware of the strength of feeling on this matter. Moreover, even if the Council decision is to reject the application, that is by no means the end of the process and we will then have to turn our attentions towards the pubic inquiry, which the Council's report notes is scheduled for 14 June 2010.

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Date Set for Planning Application Meeting - 4th April 20011

Good news: the planning application by Northern Trust WILL be heard, as expected, on Monday 4th April.

The Preston City Council planning meeting will be held at the Town Hall on Lancaster Road and will start at 10.00am. If you would like to attend so as to let the councillors know the strength of feeling that this application has caused within our community, the committee would recommend that you get there early. Seating is limited. A full public gallery will hopefully put any doubters on the planning committee firmly on the side of refusing the planning application.

The decision by the councillors will influence the input of the City planners to the upcoming public inquiry following Northern Trust's decision to lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate.

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Lightfoot Farm House Development 'Encroachment'

the extended site boundaryMany of you will have been watching the ongoing site clearance and the installation of the foundations etc. on the development next to the golf course at Lightfoot House Farm. Recently, the developers have extended the site boundary onto the golf course and, despite not having planning permission to do so, they have constructed a large hardcore standing. Having consulted with planning experts, IGVRA believes that this constitutes an unwarranted encroachment.

At the last count, 6 container offices were situated on this area of land, which belongs to and is part of Ingol Golf Course. The hard standing is understood to have been constructed for use as a car park - initially for the builders but reportedly also for subsequent use as a car park for visitors who wish to view the houses that will eventually be built there.

IGVRA has reported this development of part of Ingol Golf Course to the city planning office, which said that enforcement officers would be visiting the site. Their results will be publicised as soon as we know them but, hopefully, the planning office will not allow the developers to continue with what IGVRA believes to be blatant disregard for local planning laws.

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Crime Alert - Harris School

IGVRA is asking all residents living near to the Harris Primary School on Wychnor to be especially vigilant at the moment, following a spate of attempted nighttime thefts from the school. In January, thieves stole the lead flashing from the roof and on 22nd March, four adult men were disturbed whilst trying to steal the recently replaced lead. If you spot anything, please ring either 999 (if you spot people on the roof) or 203203 if you see anything suspicious. Always ask for a log number; that way we can follow up on results.

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Wesham Development Rejected

On 23rd March, an item appeared on the Planning Inspectorates website announcing that an appeal by Metacre, (a development company owned by T. Hemmings) had been rejected. The company had intended to build 260 houses on agricultural land in Wesham, despite strong opposition from local people. IGVRA has already passed on its congratulations to the local opposition group. If they can do it, then so can we.

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Open Meeting at Harris Primary

committee members addressing local residents in the school hallOn Saturday 19th February, hundreds of local residents visited Harris Primary School on Wychnor to ask questions of the Ingol Golf Village Residents' Association committee and to find out the latest news about the continued threat of development on the golf course.

The meeting, which ran between 1pm and 4pm, was organised on a 'drop-in' basis so people could call in at any time to meet with committee members and ask about whatever issues most concerned them. The focus of the questions was inevitably the recent move by Northern Trust to put its proposals directly to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol (rather than await the outcome of Preston City Council's own planning decision) and what the implications of this decision might be. (See the article below for more details.)

Other residents asked what more they could be doing to help the committee in its efforts to oppose Northern Trust's proposals. They were advised to continue to make their views known to local councillors and, if possible, to attend any future public hearings and any publicly accessible planning meetings at Preston Town Hall so that the Council is left in no doubt as to the strength of local feeling. IGVRA Chair, Bruce Ellison also noted that help from volunteers was always very welcome, whether with practical tasks such as leaflet distribution or simply spreading the word about new developments by visiting this website, reading IGVRA's e-mail newsletters and keeping neighbours informed.

IGVRA's committee would like to thank the Harris Primary School and its head teacher Mrs Gregory for making the school available to the public for this meeting. The event was very good natured and much appreciated by local residents who were able to catch up on what is certainly a fast-changing situation.

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February 2011 Update

The last few weeks have seen a number of important developments and the IGVRA committee would like to take this opportunity to explain what has been happening.

Firstly, some residents have expressed alarm at the sight of mechanical diggers on the golf course, near the junction between Wychnor and Lightfoot Lane. This is not, as some had feared, the beginning of construction work on the golf course itself. (Northern Trust will have many battles to fight before it could ever be in a position to do that.) Rather, the work relates only to the installation of new drainage associated with the new development at Lightfoot Farm. So rest assured - the local community is far from being beaten and Northern Trust's proposals are by no means a 'done deal.'

Secondly, it is encouraging to see that Local Dialogue, Northern Trust's PR consultancy, has been roundly criticised for its supposed 'research' into local public opinion. Having published an article describing the results of the PR exercise, the Lancashire Evening Post found that its online comments board was quickly awash with complaints, with readers variously describing the claims as "ludicrous", "distorted" and "over-stated, unfair and untrue." Local politicians on all sides have also stepped in to voice support for local residents. In one recent newspaper article, for example, Councillor Bill Shannon said that Local Dialogue's research had "no credibility whatsoever" and was comparable with bogus market research calls from companies actually trying to sell double glazing.

Perhaps Northern Trust is finally getting the message that it can expect no support whatsoever from our local communities when it comes to trying to push forward with unwanted development proposals.

Another potentially important development relates to a recently published article in the Lancashire Evening Post, which reported that Northern Trust has attempted to bypass the local planning process by requesting permission to submit its development proposals directly to the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol. This has yet to be confirmed but, if true, it would certainly fly in the face of the company's oft-repeated claims that it wishes to involve the local community in its plans. In any event, the Planning Inspectorate still requires the Planning Application to be determined (decided upon) by Preston City Council.

The next meeting of the Preston City Planning Committee at which we expect the application to be heard is 7th March. (NB: see the update above). We still ask that the Planning Committee reject the planning application. We welcome the apparent decision by Northern Trust to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. One option is for the Planning Inspector to hold a public inquiry in Preston; it will involve a lot of work by your committee but it will give us the formal platform to put our case.

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Open Day:
To help explain this fast-changing situation to local residents, IGVRA will hold a special event at the Harris Primary School on Wychnor between 1pm and 4pm on Saturday 19th February. Committee members will be available throughout this period to answer any questions and to let people know what they can do to ensure that their voices are heard. IGVRA would like to express its thanks to the school for opening at the weekend to give local residents the opportunity to catch up on the latest news.

Finally, in an effort to keep people informed, IGVRA will soon be producing a newsletter that we intend to deliver to every home in the area. The committee is aware that not everyone has email or access to the internet so we cannot rely exclusively on our regular e-newsletters and this website to get the message out. However, please bear in mind that printing and distributing printed newsletters is an expensive and time-consuming process, so the committee would welcome any offers of assistance from local volunteers. If you can help to deliver a few newsletters to your neighbours, then please let us know. The more of us are involved, the better we can spread the word.

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Recent Activity

Here is a brief summary of some of the work that IGVRA has carried out in recent weeks.

  • Investigated Northern Trust's planning proposals.
  • Raised funds that will help to secure expert support in future planning / legal battles.
  • Appointed a professional planning consultant to help prepare an effective defence of our open green spaces.
  • Submitted a formal, detailed planning objection. (You can read the letter here.)
  • Encouraged local residents to submit their own planning objections; well over 450 have now been sent.
  • Worked with local media to counter the developer's PR spin and to make clear the real views of local residents.
  • Engaged with local councillors and MPs to reiterate the local community's opposition to the threat of development.

If you would like to help with any of the association's work, please get in touch.

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A New Year Message from the Chair

Dear Residents,

On behalf of the committee, I would like to wish you and all our supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thanks to Northern Trust and their slow response to the Preston Planning Officers' questions, the planning application will now not go before the council until at least February 7th. We therefore have another month in which to put in more planning objections.

On a more worrying note, Northern Trust/Local Dialogue have been contacting residents in the area who have either not objected, or who have not been to the consultation or the Citizen Zone bus and they have been soliciting their responses to the PR "spin” put out by Local Dialogue* - the PR consultancy employed by Northern Trust. We will be putting in an objection to these solicited responses as they are not part of any public consultation.

This dubious PR practice has since been used as the basis for a press release to the local media claiming that: "The clearest message coming from the results (is) that there now appears to be much more support for the proposals than there was at the original consultation event last February. The latest survey found that the majority of respondents are now in favour of the development, with a larger proportion of residents living in close proximity to the site supporting the plans."

Note that the PR company's summary of activity can be downloaded here as a PDF document (1.6MB) , and a map of responses can be downloaded here, also as a PDF (3.5MB).

Anyone who lives within this community knows this to be wholly untrue and it is revealing to note that Northern Trust fails to specify what proportion of the 'residents' consulted are actually residents of the area surrounding Ingol Golf Club. Its survey methods - which included a stall on Preston flag market and a leaflet drop via Preston Free Press - ensured that a large proportion of its results came from people who live well outside the immediate area and whose lives will therefore be unaffected by the threat of development.

IGVRA will now be making strenuous efforts to ensure that Northern Trust's claims are refuted as clearly and as unequivocally as possible. The voices of local people deserve to be heard and we will ensure that the strong and unchanging consensus within the community does not become obfuscated by PR spin.

On a related note, some of you might have also noticed a news article in the Lancashire Evening Post recently with the headline of “we want houses on the golf course”. This comment came from the chairman of Ingol Community Association, Bill McGrath. I have spoken to Mr McGrath and he confirmed to me that he is in communication with Scott Royal, an account director at Local Dialogue, Northern Trust's PR consultants. Mr McGrath's overriding concern is to obtain more provision for the "youths of Ingol & Tanterton" and he evidently believes he can obtain some form of backing for his project by voicing his support for Northern Trust and its threats of development. We do not believe that this position reflects the interests of local residents, all of whom will be adversely affected by the proposed development should it ever come to pass, and we therefore remain adamant in opposing it.

Finally, in relation to the planning application, you may have seen that new notices have gone up around the golf course. The reason for this and the delay in going before the planning committee is that Northern Trust had not provided sufficient information in relation to archaeological heritage in their planning application, which, because the application was accompanied by an Environmental Statement (ES), is a statutory requirement. In accordance with the regulations concerning applications accompanied by an ES, the planning office was required to re-advertise the application in the press and undertake re-consultation. This has now been challenged by a local historian.

This is an ever changing story, so please keep checking this website and look out for our newsletters. (If you aren't receiving our newsletters but would like to do so, please call me on 01772 722739 or email the Residents Association at igvra@tiscali.co.uk and we will add you to our circulation list.)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Bruce Ellison
Chair IGVRA

* A note about Local Dialogue:
The PR consultancy, Local Dialogue describes itself as offering "effective community and stakeholder programmes to support your planning, development or regeneration activities." Its website boasts that it "understands both the development process and the workings and motivations of communities and local authorities" and that it supports "development and regeneration proposals across the UK." According to the same site, the company is currently helping to promote "more than £20 billion worth of development." In short, Northern Trust has hired a company that specialises in developing PR strategies that help to push forward new building developments. For all its talk of 'dialogue', let none of us forget the company's true commercial purpose nor whose interests it is paid to serve.

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Detailed IGVRA Response to Application

Working closely with a professional planning specialist, IGVRA has prepared and submitted a detailed response to Northern Trust's proposals for development. This letter, with supporting appendices analyses some of the most significant omissions, errors and potentially misleading claims contained within Northern Trust's documentation and sets out many reasons why the proposed development is inappropriate, unwanted and unnecessary.

The letter provides useful information for anyone who has yet to submit an objection to Northern Trust's plans. The whole document, including the covering letter and appendices can be downloaded here as a PDF document.

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New Plans for Discussion

On 13th December 2010, IGVRA members received the following communication from Lisa Roche, Senior Planning Officer (Planning Policy) at Preston City Council:

The three District Councils in Central Lancashire - Chorley, South Ribble and Preston are working together on area-wide long term plans as part of the Local Development Framework.

There are two parts to these plans and together they will replace the existing Local Plans for each District. The first is a jointly produced Central Lancashire Core Strategy. The second is a Site Allocations Discussion Paper which each authority is preparing individually and includes sites suggestions made by landowners and developers. All were published on 8 December 2010 and the deadline for comments to be received is 5pm on 31 January 2011. Details of how to view all the documents and make comments are given below.

Sites for Preston - Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Discussion Paper

The Discussion Paper follows on from the Core Strategy and shows possible sites for development or protection in Preston that have been suggested by landowners, developers, other organisations and members of the public. It also highlights local issues and choices that need to be made to help plan for the future of your area. No decisions have yet been made on any of the suggested sites.

You can view the document online at www.preston.gov.uk/sitesforpreston or visit one of the local libraries, West View or Fulwood Leisure Centres, Council offices at the Town Hall or Lancastria House, or Post Offices in Woodplumpton or Goosnargh to see a paper copy.

HOW TO VIEW THE DOCUMENTS AND MAKE YOUR COMMENTS

The published Core Strategy (including background papers and the sustainability appraisal) and the Discussion Papers will be available to view at:
www.centrallancashire.com
www.southribble.gov.uk/ldf
www.chorley.gov.uk/ldf
www.preston.gov.uk/environment-and-planning/planning/planning-policies/local-development-framework

and at the following Council Offices (where paper and CD copies can be acquired) from 8th December 2010 until 31st January 2011. (This is during normal office hours except for the Christmas and New Year closedowns from after noon on 24th December until reopening on 4th January):

Preston City Council: 01772 906949
Town Hall, Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RL
Lancastria House, 77-79 Lancaster Road, Preston, PR1 2RH
Opening hours Monday – Thursday 8.45am to 5.30pm, Friday 8.45am to 4.30pm

Chorley Borough Council: 01257 515151
Town Hall, Market Street, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1DP
Civic Offices, Union Street, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 1AL
Opening hours Monday – Friday 8:45 am to 5.00pm

Core Strategy enquiries: 01772 536775

In addition arrangements have been made for paper copies of the Core Strategy and the Sites for Preston Discussion Paper to be placed in local libraries, West View and Fulwood Leisure Centres and in the post offices in Woodplumpton and Goosnargh. The Sites for Preston document is also available online at www.preston.gov.uk/sitesforpreston

Addresses for sending representations:

Comments may be made either online via any of the above websites or in writing posted (no stamp required) to the address below:

Freepost
Central Lancashire LDF


Respondents are asked to use the forms available on-line and from the District Councils and ensure the representations are considered by being received at an address given above not later than 5pm on 31 January 2011.

Core Strategy representations may be accompanied by a request to be notified at a specific address of any of the following:
• That the Core Strategy had been submitted for independent examination.
• The publication of the recommendations of any person appointed to carry out an independent examination of the Core Strategy.
• The adoption of the Core Strategy.

All representations received will be made public. Apart from the name of the sender no other personal information will be publicly available. Anonymous representations will not be accepted.

Lisa Roche
Senior Planning Officer (Planning Policy)
Preston City Council
01772 906728

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OBJECT NOW - Letters of Objection Available

public viewing - 10am Tanterton Community  Centre, 1.30pm Harris School, 9th OctoberIn order to help residents to submit effective and relevant objections to the threat of development on Ingol Golf Course, IGVRA has prepared a choice of two pro-forma letters of objection. You can view and download them using the links below.

Letter Option 1 (.doc) format (59k)

Letter Option 2 (.doc) format (130k)

Both options are provided in Microsoft Word (.doc format) so that you can add your own address, sign it and send to the address at the top of the letter. You can also email your objection to devcon@preston.gov.uk.

Alternatively, you can add your own words to the letters or use the contents to formulate your own individual objection. Please also refer to IGVRA's detailed comments on Northern Trust's proposal, which can be downloaded here.

Any resident in your household can object to a planning application, so please print off an fill in as many objections as possible. If you require more assistance, the Citizen Zone bus will showing large scale plans of the proposed development on Saturday 9th October from 10.00am to 12.00 noon at Tanterton Community Centre and from 1.30pm to 3.30pm at Harris School Car Park on Wychnor. IGVRA committee members will be on hand to answer your questions.

See also 'What You Can Do' below.

Don’t forget, any planning objection has to consist of 'material planning considerations' - the most common of which are shown below:

  • Loss of light, overshadowing, overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Highway safety, traffic generation, road access
  • Noise and disturbance resulting from use
  • Loss of trees, landscaping
  • Layout and density of building
  • Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
  • Proposals in the Development Plan
  • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  • Nature conservation

Planners cannot take into account matters which are sometimes raised but which are not recognised as planning considerations - such as:

  • The perceived loss of property value
  • The loss of a view

Please ensure that you send your objection in promptly, and please encourage all your neighbours to do the same.

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October Newsletter Update

An early October update to IGVRA's most recent newsletter can be downloaded here. (PDF format - 172k.)

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A Successful Social Evening

vocalist Chloe WalkerOn Thursday 30th September, local residents gathered at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club to attend a night of fun and entertainment. Organised by the IGVRA committee, the evening featured live music from the Ribble & Booze Band and from talented young female vocalist Chloe Walker (pictured right).

A local power cut threatened to spoil people's enjoyment of the event but, with one working microphone, a slight change to the running order and a bit of electrical ingenuity behind the scenes, the organisers were able to ensure that the show did indeed go on. Chloe began with an impressive solo performance before IGVRA Chair, Bruce Ellison gave locals a brief update on the current situation regarding Northern Trust and its threatened development plans.

The Ribble & Booze Band continued the evening's entertainments with songs from a broad repertoire, and guests were later treated to a hot buffet meal.

guests at the social evening"The evening was a great success," notes Bruce. "It had one purpose, which was to bring people together to have fun. A strong sense of community is vital in these times when our neighbourhoods and environment are under threat, so the emphasis was very much on enjoyment and socialising. I hope that everyone enjoyed the event; the feedback on the night was very positive and I'm sure it did a lot to bring local people closer together.

"We also raised some additional funds, which was very welcome. We're still a long way short of our target at present, but the campaign goes on and, while fundraising wasn't the aim of this event, it resulted in some generous donations, for which we thank everyone involved. A number of individuals provided prizes for our raffle and we'd also like to thank a number of local businesses for doing the same. We'd like to pass on our thanks to the Ancient Oak, Burlingtons, the "Walled Garden" Bistro Wine Bar in Barton and .

"The message that we tried to get across on the night is that, together, we can win this, and that we can build a closer, more vibrant community in the process."

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September Newsletter

IGVRA's September 2010 newsletter can be downloaded here. (PDF format - 172k.) It explains recent progress, reiterates the need for continued fund raising and dispels some common myths - such as "It's a done deal," "It's just about saving the golf course," and "This won't affect me." The battle can be won, so help us to help you.

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Standard Letter of Objection

Many residents have been in contact with IGVRA committee members to ask whether the association will produce a standard letter of objection that they can use to voice their opposition to Northern Trust's planning application. The short answer to that is "Yes."

A rough pro-forma letter can be downloaded below. It is provided in Microsoft Word (.doc format) so that residents can add their own names and addresses and so they can amend it as they wish before sending it.
Letter in Word 2003-2007 (.doc) format (130k)

However, while this letter can be used immediately, the committee is in the process of taking professional advice from a planning consultant and, based on this advice, a second (potentially more effective) objection letter will be produced very shortly. (Update: this letter can now be downloaded here.)

It has taken us quite a time to get to this point, but for a very good reason: it is important that we get this right and to do that, we have had to sift through hundreds of pages of planning documents to identify where the errors, omissions, possible distortions or other weaknesses in the application lie. Our final draft letter will be published on this site as soon as possible.

Whether they use the current letter or wait for the final letter, residents who want to do something to protect this community from the threatened development will have a choice. They can simply put their own name and address on the letter and send it without any changes, or they can use it as reference material and submit an objection in their own words. There is some merit in providing a uniquely worded letter (or email), but both options are effective. Every objection counts and helps to demonstrate the extent of public opposition to Northern Trust's intentions.

Once this letter is produced, residents will have a fairly short space of time in which to send it to the City Council, so please look out for it and act on it as promptly as you can. Please see 'What You Can Do' below.

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Summary of Northern Trust Planning Application

By now, most residents will have received a letter from Preston City Council describing the planning application recently submitted by Northern Trust. In this article by IGVRA Committee member Alan Brookes, we look at what the application means and what can be done about it.

Synopsis of the planning application.
http://publicaccess.preston.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=90668

The Planning Application for development of the Ingol Golf Course has now been received in full by Preston City Council. The application has been validated by the planning department and can be accessed on line by following the above link. Alternatively the planning application can be viewed in person at the city council planning department at Lancastria House on Lancaster Road during normal office hours. (The extent of the documentation is such that an appointment might be necessary.) The application reference is 06/2010/0626. The proposed date for responding to the planning application is 1st October 2010. This is the statutory three week period for receipt of objections. Given the scale and potential impact on the neighbourhood of the proposed development IGVRA intend to request an extension of that date. The planning application is scheduled to be presented before the Planning Committee on Monday 29th November 2010. In reality the planning department will probably receive objections up until 1st November 2010.

As of today's date (12 September) the planning application comprises some one hundred and forty separate documents varying from single sheets to fifty page submissions. The download of the complete submission is some 113Mb. For those wishing to view the planning application at the planning department at Lancastria House then it is advised to book an appointment as the application documentation is substantial and interview rooms are sparse.

The key documents are considered to be the:

  • Application Summary
  • Supporting Planning Statement Indicative Layout (Illustrative Masterplan)
  • Design and Access Statement
  • Proposed Movement and Access Plan
  • Statement of Community Involvement (Note that the Appendices detail the responses to the Northern Trust Consultation Event of February 2010)
  • Various Interim Planning Statement Responses
  • Environmental Survey Non-Technical Summary

The planning application is for some 550 houses at densities of up to 35 houses per hectare, which is far greater than the current housing density for the immediate environment - almost twice. Development is concentrated around The Avenue, Sheraton Park, Dukes Meadow, Gleneagles Drive, Carnoustie Close, the section of Walker Lane north of Wychnor, Mallowdale, Uplands Chase, Muirfield Close and Hoylake Close. The access plans also have serious potential impact in terms of additional traffic congestion around the junction at Greenacres. The southern section of the golf course is retained as public open space with open access. This 'public' open space however remains in private ownership and it is not immediately clear what long term protection would be afforded to it - i.e. how long it would remain protected and what would happen if the developer were subsequently to have a change of heart.

Residents should note that the submission in support of this development is extremely thorough and detailed. However. the supporting arguments are considered to be weak. It is up to objectors to exploit these weaknesses.

What You Can Do:

Firstly, submit an objection in writing. You can do so by letter - to the address shown below - or by email to devcon@preston.gov.uk. In either case, please be sure to include your name and postal address (including the postcode) so that the council officer can properly log your objection and reply to you. Importantly, please also remember to quote the application reference number: 06/2010/0626.

Address:
Mr P Cousins, Planning Department, Preston City Council, Lancastria House, 77-79 Lancaster Road, Preston PR1 2RH.

When submitting your objection, try to stick to practical planning issues rather than making 'an emotional plea.' Possible subjects might include:

  • Potential impact on traffic congestion
  • Consequences for road safety
  • The need to preserve the separate geographic identities of different communities
  • The need to preserve the character of existing communities
  • Possible damage to wildlife, habitat and environmental diversity

It is helpful (though not essential) if you write in your own words because this kind of letter carries most weight in the planning process and because it helps to ensure that each objection can be considered separately. However, for those who would like some help, IGVRA has provided two alternative pro-forma letters that will help you to put forward the principal points.

What Else You Can Do:

In addition to registering your objection,

  • Encourage all your neighbours to do the same - this is really important
  • Help us to raise funds; we badly need funds to enlist the help of a professional planning consultant so as to give us the best possible chance of defending our community successfully.

For more details of how you can help to raise funds, please read the articles below.

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Download IGVRA's Latest Newsletter

The need to prepare an effective opposition to Northern Trust's development threats is becoming ever more urgent. (See article below.) The IGVRA committee has therefore produced its latest newsletter that explains some of the many ways that concerned local residents can help. The newsletter contains details of forthcoming fund-raising events, plans for collections and even a really easy way of raising money just by browsing the internet!

Download the Newsletter here. (PDF format: 280k.)

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NORTHERN TRUST SUBMITS PLANNING APPLICATION

On 29th July, IGVRA received an email from Bell Pottinger, Northern Trust's PR agency, saying:

"I would like you to know in advance that Northern Trust is aiming to submit its planning application for the proposed development of the former Ingol Golf Club to Preston City Council tomorrow. Once registered by the Council, the application will then be in the public domain and available for comment in line with standard planning procedures."

IGVRA understands that local councillors are now aware of the situation and will be making their views known. At least one councillor has already written to the local media to object and to make clear that the proposal is against the wishes of both local residents and Preston City Council as a whole.

It is to be hoped that the application will be rejected but, if so, there is an appeals process available to Northern Trust and we must all be ready to act quickly to oppose the company's efforts to push the application through. This highlights the need expressed at the last pubic meeting for immediate efforts to raise the funds necessary to enlist professional support in fighting this threat.

Addendum: It would appear that Northern Trust's initial application was incomplete so Preston City Council did not immediately accept the application as valid. Northern Trust then revisited the application to correct its errors and omissions and, on 31st September, the application was finally accepted as valid. The application number is 06/2010/0626. Validation simply means that the application has been submitted correctly; it does not mean that it has been approved.

The details of the application can be found here on the Preston City Council website.

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July Newsletter Now Available

Please click here to download our latest newsletter (PDF format - 75k.)

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Excellent Response at Public Meeting - 17th June

A packed audienceOn Thursday 17th June, more than 200 local residents of Ingol Golf Village met at Preston Grasshoppers Rugby Club to hear about recent efforts to protect the threatened land, and to lend their support to the campaign to oppose plans for development of the golf course by Northern Trust.

The event was intended as an opportunity for residents to hear about the work carried out by the committee of Ingol Golf Village Residents Association (IGVRA) and to seek answers to their many pressing concerns about the possible future of the area. The evening was very well attended, with local people packing the main function room and forming long queues in the corridor outside.

IGVRA Chair Bruce Ellison opened the series of presentations, which included a progress update, a summary of current planning considerations and an invitation for residents to lend their support in a variety of ways. There then followed a question and answer session during which many residents took the opportunity to offer support with fund raising and to suggest new avenues through which the threat posed by Northern Trust could be countered.

Bruce in discussion with residents after the presentations“Like all the committee members, I was delighted by the turn-out and by the whole-hearted support that we received,” said Bruce. “People were asking some very intelligent questions, making constructive suggestions and voicing their determination to work together to prevent any future building work on this valuable green space.

“Local residents are clearly united in this view and ready for a hard-fought battle against Northern Trust and its development plans. They are evidently more than ready to contribute time, effort and funds to this cause; one lady even spoke out during the question and answer session to say that she was making out a £100 cheque there and then.

“It was a heart-warming response and a real testament to the sense of community spirit that exists around Ingol Golf Course. Now, more than ever, the IGVRA committee is conscious of our responsibility to represent local people and to do all we can to prevent the destruction of the golf course.”

A PDF copy of the speakers' presentations can be downloaded here. (PDF 235k).

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"No Grounds for Complacency" Reports IGVRA

Ingol Golf Course's recent designation as an 'Area of Major Open Space' is welcome news but the IGVRA committee would like to remind residents that this certainly does not mean that the battle to protect the land against the threat of development has already been won. A complex and lengthy process means that the developers will still have many opportunities ahead of them to overturn this decision so we must all remain vigilant, vocal and committed in our continuing opposition to any development proposals. We cannot afford to become complacent, nor to assume that this valuable green space is now safe.

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Lightfoot House Farm Development Knocked Back

At a Council Planning Meeting on Monday 7th June, the planning application for the development of 13 houses on the land adjacent to Lightfoot House was rejected by a vote of 16 to nil. It was determined that "13 dwellings would generate too much traffic entering and leaving the site and would be a danger to other road users". The application is now likely to go to planning appeal at the Inspectorate in Bristol. This means round one goes to the residents and Council but there is still a lengthy appeals process ahead. (See previous article about the planning application below.)

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Treasurer's Statement & Funding

IGVRA treasurer, Helen Ardern has produced a statement explaining the association's need to enlist the help of local residents in raising the funds necessary to mount an effective opposition to the threat of development on Ingol Golf Course. You can read the full article here. In it, she notes how Northern Trust appealed against Preston City Council's objection to a planning application for the development of six houses at Lightfoot House Farm and took its case all the way to the High Court. Then, once approval had been obtained, a new planning application was submitted for not six but fourteen houses on the site. This gives an insight into the tactics likely to be employed by developers at Ingol and the extent of the problem that the community now faces.

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IGVRA to Attend Northern Trust Consultation

The IGVRA committee has been asked to send two delegates to an 'invitation-only' consultation event hosted by Northern Trust and its PR agency, Bell Pottinger. The meeting is scheduled to take place in the week commencing 17th May and will also be attended by local ward councillors, a county councillor, a police inspector and representatives of several other local groups.

Northern Trust's PR consultants are describing the session as ‘a focused event to discuss possible options’ and the IGVRA committee has promised to make the public aware of any discussions that take place. The key points will be reported on this website and at the next public meeting, which will take place on 17th June at Preston Grasshoppers on Lightfoot Lane.

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Planning Aid

Planning Aid event leafletPlanning Aid is a charity with the express purpose of helping individuals and community groups to understand and participate in the planning process.It is an independent organisation sponsored by Communities and Local Government (CLG) and it is staffed by planning professionals.

The Planning Aid presentation for a limited number of residents is currently scheduled for 5.30pm on Thursday 10th June 2010. Working in conjunction with IGVRA, Planning Aid is now arranging for the meeting be held at Tanterton Christian Centre. The number of attendees will need to be limited to forty. It is proposed that the evening will be a 'hands on' introduction to the planning system and to the Local Development Framework. The intention is that residents will then be better able as individuals and as a community to respond to planning matters of local interest. Hopefully this will also introduce IGVRA to a wider group of residents.

You can download a copy of the event leaflet here. (PDF 180k.)

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Residents' Consultation Shows United Opposition to Development Plans

The IGVRA committee recently carried a community consultation exercise that is still producing a steady flow of responses but which has already revealed widespread and wholehearted opposition to the Northern Trust's threat to build upon the site of Ingol Golf Course. In April, well over 600 residents responded to a simple survey that asked for their views about the possible closure of the golf course and, if it were to close, how the land should be used. To date, every single reply has indicated that the land should be retained as green open space and that it should be protected from development.

The first question was:

1. Following the closure of Ingol Golf Course, which one of the following would be your choice?
a. Keep the land as “Green and Protected from Development”
b. Change the status of the land to “Developable for Building”

Those who replied (a) were then asked for their suggestions about how the land should be used. 45% wanted to see the area converted to parkland, 40% wanted to see reinvestment to create a new, high quality golf course, and 11% supported the idea of creating woodland or planting for bio-energy products. The remaining 4% proposed a variety of other creative ideas for using the land as some form of public amenity and habitat for wildlife.

If you have not yet responded and would like to do so, please download the survey form by clicking here (PDF document 87k). Various return addresses are listed at the bottom of the page.

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Local Development Framework (LDF); Core Strategy document

Preston Council held a Cabinet Meeting on 30th March 2010 at which a significant amendment to the LDF Core Strategy was proposed for incorporation into the Publication version. The amendment is for 'Area of Major Open Space'. This is effectively an area of separation but between neighbourhoods.

There are two areas proposed, namely:
1) Between Ingol/Tanterton and Greyfriars/Sharoe Green
2) Between Sharoe Green and Fulwood
The intention is that one area is the Ingol golf course, the other is the Fulwood/Preston golf course.

The proposed Publication version of the LDF Core Strategy went before the full City Council for approval and sign off on Thursday 22nd April 2010. IGVRA committee members Bruce Ellison and Alan Brookes watched proceedings from the public gallery. The proposed Publication version was approved on a show of hands. The City Council intend to publish the Core Strategy document in June.

Following Publication there will then follow a six week consultation period. Organisations, including IGVRA, will be able to comment further on the proposed LDF Core Strategy. Following the consultation period, the Publication version together with a report prepared by the City Council summarising the further representations will be forwarded to the Secretary of State for examination by a Planning Inspector. This submission is targeted for September 2010.

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Planning Consultants & Fund-Raising

The current Local Plan designates the Ingol golf course land as protected from development. Notwithstanding, IGVRA fully anticipates that Northern Trust will promote an 'Outline Planning Application' to develop significant tracts of the Ingol golf course land for housing.

The IGVRA committee has contacted planning consultants in respect of responding to any such planning application. The planning consultants have provided comprehensive responses to the IGVRA request for proposed 'Conditions of Engagement', a draft brief, proposed fees and a proposed fee structure.

Should IGVRA propose to engage planning consultants then this would require significant funding. To meet this, essential financial support would be needed from the community. This support can only come from residents. A more detailed understanding of the funding requirement would need to be based upon developing the brief to the planning consultants.

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The Wesham Action Group

Members of IGVRA recently met with the Wesham Action Group (WAG). WAG were recently successful in objecting to a Planning Application to construct some 260 houses on a greenfield site in their village. We were impressed by their achievement through sheer hard work, the quality of the information that they collated and presented, the quality of their arguments and the quality of their published documentation.

See link; http://www.fylde.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning/ then go to planning application 08/1072.
WAG have offered their support to us. They now face the prospect of a planning appeal by the developer. We in our turn will offer support to WAG in achieving their objective.

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Development at Lightfoot Farm

A Detail Planning Application was submitted to Preston City Council on 26th March 2010 for fourteen four- and five-bedroom detached houses on the footprint of the former Lightfoot Farm. The application was submitted in the name of Arley Homes.

The owners of Lightfoot House are likely to object, primarily on the number of houses proposed. There is also the proposed access arrangement from Lightfoot Lane to consider.

Individual residents may wish to make representations in respect of this planning application. Representation need to be made by 2nd May 2010. Representations can be made to Preston City planning by email. For details, visit the Preston City Council website.

IGVRA has offered to assist in any response that individual residents might wish to make. IGVRA may also make a response in its own right. See link; http://publicaccess.preston.gov.uk/portal/servlets/ApplicationSearchServlet?PKID=88350

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Wildlife surveys - we need your help

newts captured on camera by a local residentLocal residents have been doing their bit to build the environmental case against the threat of development on Ingol Golf Course. Volunteers and members of the committee have been exploring the green spaces in the vicinity of the golf course - making use of the public rights of way in and around the area - and have been taking note of the wildlife that they have encountered on their travels.

To date, they have uncovered an impressive array of flora and fauna, including (amongst many others) water voles, woodpeckers, roe deer and great crested newts, which are under threat in the UK and afforded legal protection.

However, we'd like to build up as a complete a picture as possible, particularly as the seasons change, so if you are out in the vicinity of the golf course, please do make a note of any wildlife that you see and then let us know. If you have a camera with you, then please send us your photos. If we receive a good response, we may publish an online gallery of residents' photos.

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City Council chief urges protection for Ingol golf course

On March 22nd, the Lancashire Evening Post reported that the leader of Preston Council, Councillor Ken Hudson, said that he "would refuse to sign off on vital development plans unless (Ingol) golf course is protected." The paper quoted Cllr. Hudson as saying "I'm refusing to sign the LDF (Local Development Framework) until they protect the golf club... The golf course should be protected. There is nothing to stop (Northern Trust) putting a planning application in but it will have a bit more protection."

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Concerns over Ingol Vision - part of Northern Trust's strategy for development

On Thursday 25th February, Northern Trust unveiled its plans for developing Ingol Golf Course. This proposal entails building more than 600 new homes on the course.

Billed as a "community consultation event" this exercise was launched and paid for by the developer, with support from Bell Pottinger, its PR / public image agency. For those who don't know the name, Bell Pottinger is Britain's biggest PR consultancy and it has earned much of its £238 million turnover* from protecting the interests of big business. To give you an idea of just how big, its client list includes organisations such as Disney, Emirates (airline), Rolex and the oil giant Texaco.

Association committee members were in attendance throughout the course of the three sessions and were pleased to report that residents appeared to be conveying a very strong and consistent message. To judge by the many Post-It notes stuck to the display boards and by the conversations taking place throughout the room, not a single resident had spoken out in favour of the proposal.

However, we must remember that the organisers are old hands at the development business and it's probably very safe to assume that they have planned for this eventuality. It's likely that they will respond with a revised plan that gives all the appearance that they have listened to residents' concerns and taken them into account.

In reality - and however slick the presentation - any 'revised' proposal will still boil down to an attempt by the developer to build on the golf course and to overturn its current status. This is unacceptable and no one should feel appeased by this. The only result that will satisfy the residents association and to the community as a whole will be the one for which local people have been asking from the start:

"No development. No change of use. No compromise.
Preserve our green spaces. Protect our community and its environment."

* 2008 figure. Source PR Week, April 2009.

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