Along with other local groups, Defend Lytham have signed up to a statement deploring the proposed local plan

The current local plan being presented overstates the local housing need. It is flawed and would, over the following decade, see vast swathes of land swallowed up by housing developments based on this overstated need.

We deplore the failure of Fylde Borough Council to present for consultation its evidenced and justified assessment of the number of houses required in Fylde Borough for the period to 2030.

The housing requirement number is the most significant factor in the Preferred Options draft of the Fylde Local Plan to 2030 (part1) which the council has presented for public consultation (concluding 22 August 2013), but the preferred options are based on an assumed and contentious housing requirement which itself has not been subjected to critical public examination.

Local Signatories CPRE FDG, FCAG, CROWD, WRAPP, QED, WAG, SWAG, LSA Civic Society, Defend Lytham, SAVE

The Council had initially asked several local groups to undertake a critical review of its emerging evidence base, but failed to provide that evidence for review. Instead, they created an advisory group of councillors who reviewed evidence and drafted preferred options confidentially. A significant proportion of these councillors disagreed so strongly with the Portfolio Holder responsible for producing the Preferred Options draft that they issued a Minority Report.

The Council now expects to present its own justified figure just prior to submission of the final draft Local Plan document to the Secretary of State in autumn 2014, long after public consultation on the Preferred Options draft has concluded.

The exclusion of this most material factor from the current consultation so critically compromises the ensuing policy that we believe it renders this consultation phase invalid and unsound.

We therefore call on Fylde Borough Council to suspend the current consultation and withdraw the Preferred Options (June 2013) draft until it is able to support it with its own declared housing requirement number together with its related evidence and reasoned justification. An amended Preferred Options draft, together with the housing requirement number should only then be re-presented for public consultation.