The future shape of Barrowford could be very different as controversial plans to build 500 new homes in Barrowford look set for approval – despite a raft of public objections.
Pendle Council chiefs say there is no evidential reason to reject the Trough Laithe plans, which will be decided on Monday.
Residents’ fears of flooding have also been intensified since the Boxing Day floods, although the council has said the applicant has submitted an acceptable Flood Risk Assessment.
The Peel Investments (North) application was thrown out by Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee recently, but it will now be considered by Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee on Monday.
Officers have recommended the plan for approval, despite the council receiving 207 responses from the public objecting to the proposal.
The Barrowford and Western Parishes committee objected on grounds of highway impact, flooding, loss of open space, impact on the Lomeshaye Industrial Estate, impact on local heritage assets, visual impact and increased urbanisation of the village.
Barrowford Parish Council also objected to the application.
President of the Pendle Labour party Mark Porter said the plan would be difficult to reject because it was included in the borough’s Core Strategy, but blamed the Conservatives for including it in the strategy in September 2014.
In November of that year, consultation on the Core Strategy closed. Concerns raised included the allocation of a single Strategic Housing Site rather than a number of sites, and the location and justification of Trough Laithe as that strategic housing site.
Mr Porter said: “On its website the Peel Group prides itself on its regeneration and sustainability credentials.
“I can’t see how turning 17 hectares of green fields into unwanted housing does anything to regenerate Pendle’s real areas of need in Nelson, Colne and Brierfield.”
If passed, the 500 homes could be built on green fields stretching up from the Barrowford bypass to Wheatley Lane Road and across to the relatively new Wheatley Springs estate on the edge of Barrowford.
A council spokesman said: “The application has been referred to the Development Management Committee as none of the reasons for refusal put forward are supported by evidence and a refusal on any of the grounds would be likely to result in costs being awarded against the council on appeal, particularly as the principle of development has been supported by a planning inspector in his report into the allocation in the Core Strategy, and that the site was allocated for development by Pendle in the Core Strategy on December 17th, 2015.”