Council scraps plan to sell ‘high quality’ land to its own housing firm

Council scraps plan to sell ‘high quality’ land to its own housing firm

by Henry James (January 2022)

plans to sell a patch of ‘high quality public open space’ land in Ormskirk for housebuilding have been scrapped by the borough council in a move that has been welcomed by Our West Lancashire.

The council Independents have warmly welcomed the “U-turn” but said it showed how the council has “lost its way”.

The local authority had planned to sell the land on Farrington Drive to its own housing firm Tawd Valley Developments (TVD).

But OWL leaders objected and claimed there is a “shortage of public open space” land in Ormskirk.

The patch of land was unknown to OWL at the time of their objections, but at a Executive Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on January 13 councillors voted to make a council report public. This identified the public open space in Ormskirk as Farrington Drive.

OWL chairman, Cllr Adrian Owens said: “I’m delighted the council have abandoned the plans as we had previously called for. The council’s very own assessments show that this piece of open space is of high quality and that Ormskirk has a shortage of public open space! Another OWL councillor secured comments from the council tree officer that trees on the site were worthy of preservation.

“The fact that this open space was ever threatened shows how far the council has lost its way at the current time. It needs to regain a strategic focus with internal consistency rather than the contradictory ‘push me, pull you’ approach of this sorry saga.”

A spokesperson for West Lancashire Borough Council responded: “As stated in our previous response to this matter, all sites that Tawd Valley Developments (TVD) are exploring are shared at an early stage with a working group which consists of elected members from each political party including Our West Lancashire.

“Tawd Valley Developments follow a robust appraisal process when considering any sites for development. The Board of TVD are required to approve all developments in line with the objectives set out by the Council. All decisions made by the Board on specific opportunities are based on facts and evidence and no other influencing factors.”

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