Hope Tech research centre approved

Hope Technology's Barnoldswick base in Calf Hall Road.
Hope Technology's Barnoldswick base in Calf Hall Road.

Hope Technology’s plan for a new research and development centre at its Barnoldswick base has been passed despite disgruntled resident opposition.

The bike part manufacturer’s application to construct the 1,600sq. m. building including new research and development workshop and offices at the back of its Calf Hall Road Mill was passed unanimously by Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee.

However, objectors living in Pen-y-ghent Way in Barnoldswick voiced their views on the application vociferously arguing that their “rights to light” were being contravened.

Dianne Bowdin told councillors that the new building would create a “prominent shadow” on their south facing property and questioned why Hope have chosen not to build on their brownfield site off Fernbank Avenue.

She said: “Twelve months ago we thought we had bought our dream retirement home. Instead it is turning into a nightmare.”

Another Pen-y-ghent Way resident Lee Gill told the meeting: “If we were bats, we would deserve serious consideration.”

In his objecting letter, Mr Gill described the building as a “monstrous factory... massively out of scale” and revised plans visually were still “tantamount to building a row of double-storey kitchen extensions opposite your neighbour on a picturesque country track”.

He also accused Hope of “pulling back from widely-made public assurances” that nothing would be built higher than the existing stone wall, saying that he and others had purchased houses on that assurance that was now “empty and worthless”.

The mill site falls into both the Calf Hall and Gillians conservation areas and Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s Planning Manager, told councillors that while the development would have an impact “it wouldn’t have a significant impact on the wider conservation area” in planning terms.

Mr Watson said the light test would be “quite straightforward” and there would be no issue. He added the development was “in proportion and scale” and however “unpalatable”, the council is governed by court precedent.

Taking into account the changes and hipped roof, Coun. David Whipp said: “It is my belief that it won’t have the massive impact residents are fearing.”

However, he did ask for a condition to be added that no light should escape from the roof of the new building.