Hostel plans rejected

Controversial plans to convert a former post office in New Longton into a hostel for agricultural workers have been rejected.

The plans by ex-postmaster Chris Kelly to turn the Chapel lane building in to a nine-bedroomed property proving accommodation for 18 immigrant workers sparked fury amongst some residents.

South Ribble Borough Council received hundreds of letters of objections, stating that the hostel would be inappropriate and out of character in the rural village.

Around 40 residents attended the South Ribble Borough council meeting at Leyland Civic Centre, WEst Paddock, on Wednesday (July, 25) night.

Planning officers at the council that the development to transform the victorian building should be given the go-ahead.

However, it was refused by a majority of seven votes to five after discussion by the planning committee.

Mr Kelly, 55, of Hugh Barn Farm, Hugh Barn Lane, vowed that he would appeal against the decision.

The father of three, added: "I expected the council to bow to public pressure. The reason they refused it was because of the possibility of noise but they are making assumptions about these people before they've even moved in.

"All people deserve the benefit of the doubt. These workers are just average people who want to ear a living like everybody else."

The workers, who were likely to be Polish and Latvian would have worked at farms in Whitestake and Tarleton.

South Ribble Council Leader and councillor for the New Longton ward, Margaret Smith, said: "I'm delighted for the residents. They put a strong case forward on the grounds of noise and disturbance and it was successful."

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