Controversial 203 homes plan sparks more campaign fury

Residents of Knotts Drive in Colne unite against builders planning to build on land adjacent to their estate.
Residents of Knotts Drive in Colne unite against builders planning to build on land adjacent to their estate.
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A controversial planning application for 203 homes on the Nelson-Colne boundary has sparked yet more fury from campaigners.

This week, lobby group Get Knotted learned that a decision on Persimmon Homes’ appeal for the site off Knotts Lane will be made behind closed doors on Monday night.

According to Pendle Council, the arrangement to make the Development Management Committee agenda item private was taken “on legal advice”.

Members have been left “bewildered” by the announcement, and are now urging elected councillors to “go through with what they voted for” and not “bow to peer pressure or the worry of costs”.

Chairman of Get Knotted Glenn Cardwell said: “We worked very closely with councillors from all political parties in Pendle to ensure that there were strong reasons to reject this huge planning application.

“We are disturbed to hear that this is now appearing back on the Development Management Committee agenda.

“We hope we can have faith in the locally elected councillors to do the right thing for the people of Colne.

“Residents expect their councillors to honour their pledges. ”

And County Coun. Azhar Ali, who has long been campaigning to protect greenfield sites from development added: “This battle to save the greenfield sites off Knotts Drive and Gib Hill has gone on for over 12 years.

“Many years ago the Secretary of State John Prescott overruled the government’s planning inspector and supported communities in preserving greenfield sites from development.

“I find it quite disturbing that Pendle Council is now putting this planning appeal back in front of the Development Management Committee.

“We encourage them to hire the best experts in this field to fight Persimmon Homes all the way.”

Proposals were thrown out by councillors in December. Various reasons for refusal, including design and layout of the scene, availability of other brownfield sites, and the possibility of a biological site by the railway being affected, were given. .