MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

This week I have had some important meetings over issues which affect large numbers of people in different areas in Fylde.

I met with local residents in St Annes over plans for an extension to Durham Avenue Medical Centre and nearby Poplar House Surgery moved into the premises.

I have a number of issues with these plans, not least because they will see thousands of new patients added to an already busy site.

Those living around Durham Avenue and Stephen Street will tell you that they already have issues with the numbers of cars using the formerly quiet cul-de-sacs, while older patients complain that there is limited public transport access to the site.

With a number of new development schemes planned in St Annes, I am concerned ever more patients may use these surgeries until services are stretched to breaking point and I have written to the local clinical commissioning group to outline my concerns.

Prior to that meeting, I visited a group of residents from the Dowbridge area of Kirkham who are concerned about successive planning applications for housing on nearby farmland.

As a Member of Parliament I have no powers over planning decisions but have been consulted as part of the borough council’s Local Plan process.

This location has always concerned me as it has a high propensity for flooding, so I was pleased when Fylde Council confirmed it had been removed from its draft Local Plan due to those issues.

However, developers still seem hell-bent on pursuing this site and I have contacted the relevant authorities to express my ongoing concerns, which have only been exacerbated by the extreme weather conditions we have faced recently.

As a member of the Transport Select Committee I was invited to Heathrow Airport this week to view plans for a third runway at the site and receive a tour of the current facilities.

As part of the visit, we stood at the end of the current runway less than 30 metres from a new Boeing 787 Dreamliner landing. It was not as loud as you might imagine.

One of the main complaints which comes from campaigners against the new runway is increased aircraft noise but I hope that advances in engine technology go some way to resolving that.

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