Waterside Liberal Democrat councillor Tony Greaves is shocked by new proposals for more than 200 new homes on the Knotts Drive estate in Colne.
Coun. Greaves said: “My immediate reaction is that this scheme is wrong for the South Valley area, wrong for Colne, and wrong for Pendle. Too big – the wrong sort of houses and in the wrong place.”
The proposals are being put forward by national housing developer Persimmon Homes as a large extension to the existing estate. They would be built on the former railway sidings – shown in the Pendle Local Plan as a biological heritage site – and green fields beyond existing housing.
The plans have been supplied to councillors in advance of a “drop-in” public exhibition on April 5th which is being held by the developers.
Coun. Greaves said: “The plans circulated are for 211 new houses, the majority of them detached, strung along mainly straight roads across the hillside. They almost double the size of the estate and appear to be mainly aimed at attracting a lot of new commuters.
“My immediate impression was of lots and lots of ‘little boxes on the hillside…’ with little benefit for Colne or the community. They seem to be taking a great deal and giving very little in return.
“And they fly in the face of all the proposals in recent years for development on brownfield land in the South Valley itself rather than green fields on the hillsides.”
Persimmon has sent out several hundred letters inviting people to the exhibition which they describe as a “consultation process”. Coun. Greaves is urging everyone affected by this development or interested in it to attend the exhibition and give their views.
He said: “I urge people to find out what is planned, and then to take part in their consultation exercise – and tell them exactly what they think. They will obviously be putting the best gloss on the proposals but it’s up to residents to work out the likely effects and tell them their views – whatever they are.
“This development is not and cannot be a fait accompli. If it’s not right for Colne in what it is and where it is, we need to say so strongly. I for one will be looking at it very hard and challenging Persimmon to tell us why they think this is right for this town.
“Just because it may be right for Persimmon as a company looking to add lots of money to their bottom line is not enough.”
It is expected Persimmon will submit a planning application to Pendle Council later this year. Any application will go for a decision to the Colne and District Committee of the council.