NEARLY 100 residents have opposed plans to build a house in a conservation area in Barnoldswick.
The owner of the plot on Esp Lane has submitted proposals to build a family home twice before, with permission refused once and the other application withdrawn.
Many of the neighbouring residents and users of the lane have expressed anger another application has been submitted.
Pendle Council has received 91 objections to the plans and one letter from a neighbouring farmer asking special conditions be imposed should the build be allowed to go ahead.
The applicant has said the proposed house would be in keeping with the area and would not have a negative impact on neighbours or other users of the lane.
Reasons for opposing the build include protecting the conservation area – the plot forms part of the Calf Hall and Gillians Conservation Area, preserving a wide range of wildlife found around the site, complaints the lane, which is an unadopted road, is too narrow to facilitate construction traffic and extra residential traffic, the potential for flooding and the prospect of the new house overlooking neighbours.
There are also complaints too few changes have been made from a previous application s turned down by Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee.
A planning officer has recommended the application be refused.
Neighbouring resident Mr C. Riley of Sycamore Way said: “Esp Lane is very narrow, only one car’s width. Currently when traffic meets on the lane it is impossible to pass without encroaching on the very soft non-existent verge or they are passed by moving onto residents’ property.
“Residents on the lane have already suffered damage to walls and driveways and an increase in traffic, especially construction traffic, will inevitably lead to more damage.
“It has been very upsetting to see that trees have been cut down and cleared, many forms of wildlife are seen here; deer, foxes, birds and even bats.
“This is a conversation area, let’s keep it that way.”
Sally and Glynn Lovesey of Moorgate Road said: “Esp Lane is one of the last remaining unspoiled areas of Barnoldswick.
“The conservation area has been unchanged for hundreds of years. It is a conservation area to make sure that the people of Barnoldswick can continue to enjoy it for many more years.
“It’s unbelievable that planning for a new building on this spot is even being considered when there is so much Brownfield available in Barnoldswick. It makes a mockery of the entire concept of the conservation area.
“Walking through the cottages of Esp Lane is like walking through a village in the Dales.”
Marlene Steele of Sycamore Way added: “I have seen teachers and children walking up the lane on nature walks to look at and learn about the birds, wild flowers, trees, frogs that lay their spawn in a trough at the side of the lane just below the proposed site and all the other creatures in their natural surroundings.
“The beautiful and historic part of Barnoldswick should not be lost to developers but protected at all cost for the benefit of future generations of Barnoldswick and I suppose that was in the minds of the people who made the decision to protect special areas around Barnoldswick by creating the Calf Hall and Gillians Conservation Area in 2004.”
The applicant said: “The site is within the settlement boundary and is not allocated for an alternative use.
“It has no effect on the access, parking or amenity space arrangements of any existing dwelling.
“The siting of any new dwelling would not have any considerable effect on the peace and privacy enjoyed in adjoining properties.
“A safe access can be constructed along Esp Lane for cars that is acceptable to the highway authority, and the access itself would not harm neighbours.
“The site is on the edge of the settlement. It would not however produce a form of development that is out of character with Esp Lane and it could not be argued that it would set a precedent.”
The West Craven Committee will decide on the application at their next meeting at the Rainhall Centre on Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m.