OUTLINE plans for up to 15 new homes on pastureland at Over Kellet won backing from planners, despite dozens of objections.

Over Kellet Parish Council had unanimously opposed the proposals for an "extremely sensitive" parcel of cattle-grazing land with limestone outcrops, next to Church Bank and Greenways.

"Its destruction if it were to have houses built on it would be a major loss to the heritage of this ancient village," stated the parish council.


"The site for this proposed development is not any old field in any old village. It will have a major impact on the village environment and natural heritage."

The plans also sparked at least 55 letters of objection to Lancaster City Council. Major concerns voiced by objectors included:

- potential danger from extra traffic, which would turn Greenways "from a quiet cul-de-sac in which young children currently enjoy playing, into a busy through route"

- existing sewers overflowing in heavy rain, causing raw sewage to discharge into nearby properties, including the village hall

- possible threats to protected great crested newts and other rare fauna and flora at a nearby pond managed by Lancashire Wildlife Trust

- the village's lack of a health centre, poor bus service and 'over-subscribed' primary school

- and a lack of evidence of housing need in the village.

Many villagers shared fond memories of sledging on the field in winter and said how much it was appreciated by dog walkers and children at play.

Despite all the objections, Lancaster City Council's planning and highways regulatory committee agreed to support the plans.

In a report, planning officers said the development would provide six affordable homes and that concerns about nature conservation could be 'made acceptable' through conditions. They added that local schools had capacity for more pupils.

The plans were submitted by the late James Cottam (senior) will.