‘Jimmy’s’ 106 new homes plan in Nelson turned down

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A LONG-RUNNING and controversial planning application to develop a former Pendle sports field for a major housing scheme has finally been resolved.

At a meeting last night, Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee decided to refuse planning permission for the erection of 106 homes on the former James Nelson’s sports ground off Priory Chase.

Just three of the nine committee members were present, with Couns Sheena Dunn and David Whip voting against the proposal and chairman Coun. Mohammed Iqbal voting in favour

The application had originally been refused by the council’s Nelson Committee in February on the grounds of overdevelopment, impact on amenities and unsuitable access.

Priory Chase was said by residents to be too narrow for use by construction plant and equipment and was prone to be badly affected by ice and snow in the winter.

It then went to the development management committee last month, when councillors deferred a decision to allow for talks with developers Gleeson Homes on highways issues and the provision of open space.

Residents in the area the Rev. Lisl von Schweinitz, Steve Flanagan and Steve Elliott reiterated their earlier objections to the meeting, with Steve Gamble, from Gleeson Homes, again speaking on behalf of the developer.

Mr Elliott accused Gleeson of making “thinly-veiled threats” by saying it would go to an appeal if permission was refused and would have a 50/50 chance of success, but Mr Gamble denied this and said it was stipulated in the contract that an appeal would be made if the application was refused.

It was the open space issue which prompted Couns Dunn and Whipp to move and second refusal respectively, with Coun. Iqbal saying the council could ask Gleeson for funding to provide more open space in Southfield.

Mr Gleeson told the meeting his company had agreed a contribution of £106,000 towards improvements to existing facilities or the provision of extra off-site open space, but none could be provided within the site as the loss of plots would undermine the scheme’s viability.