Controversial plans that could have seen 17 homes built on a Colne school’s wildlife area and prayer garden are continuing to cause concern.
Last month, we reported that Pendle Council proposals for greenfield land off Red Lane next to Sacred Heart Primary School, had been withdrawn.
But now, residents, headteacher John Robertshaw, parents and Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson have raised fears of the plans being re-submitted and potentially sparking another major application from private developers for land behind The Meadows.
Mr Stephenson said: “When the council first discussed this with me, I said that I was against it. Now common sense has prevailed, and the application has been withdrawn.
“The concern would be that if the development were to go ahead, it would improve access to another piece of land where potentially about 50 homes could be built. It is of paramount concern to The Meadows residents, who have seen surveyors and people in the neighbourhood.
“It would change the character of that development, there are traffic and safety issues and environmental concerns.”
While Mr Stephenson understands the need for new developments, he added that there are other more appropriate brownfield sites in Colne that could be considered.
Mr Robertshaw agreed, adding that another bigger application would “completely change the area and the school”.
He said: “We have still got concerns, so from a school point of view it is keeping an eye open, and seeing what happens in the future.
“Our concern would be the safety of the children getting into school and the safety of children in school. We will fight it as much as we can.”
And Clare Hand, chair of governors at the school, added: “The concern is that they will address some of the issues we’ve highlighted in our objection and then reapply.”
Before the application for land off Red Lane was withdrawn, planning consultants sent a letter to Pendle Council on behalf of Sacred Heart Primary School.
The document outlined their objections, which included the loss of the nature area, the impact on pedestrian access to school. and the loss of TPO trees.
Responding to the latest concerns, leader of Pendle Council Coun. Joe Cooney, said: “I think that a development for land behind The Meadows is going to come forward in the next couple of months. It is part of the reason why we withdrew the application for land off Red Lane.
“I am not going to say that that application will not be resubmitted, but it is currently on the shelves and it is not going to be coming forward.”