360-home plan for The Rough?

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Campaigners have revived their fight to save a Colne beauty spot after hearing developers are due to submit proposals for 360 homes.

Earlier this year, we reported that 270 homes could be built on land behind Favordale and off Windermere Avenue, between Castle Road and Skipton Old Road.

In July, community group Lidgett and Beyond claimed a small victory following speculation that the controversial plans for “The Rough” had been dropped.

But now it is believed developers are back, with an application for a third more homes than initially anticipated.

In an email to Lidgett and Beyond’s 600 members, chairman Owen Oliver and treasurer David Cockburn-Price said: “We must prepare ourselves once again and this time it is really serious. They [developers] will not have to consult with us again ... so the process will be quicker and the building site is expected to operate for up to a decade.

“Aside from a small part of the site falling within the Lidgett and Bents Conservation Area and the Site of Special Settlement Character by Favordale, most of The Rough falls in an area deemed as Protected Area which we believe is earmarked for potential development, but is deemed ‘marginally viable’ to develop by Pendle Council.

“Theoretically, then, there are no bars to the entire site being developed.

“Now is the time to prevent the scheme gaining traction and being passed by councillors. We must make our feelings known, even before the formal planning permission is submitted.”

Mr Oliver and Mr Cockburn-Price have suggested how residents can fight the plans for part of the informally named “Green Lung of Colne”.

These include writing to local councillors, joining Lidgett and Beyond’s Facebook and Twitter page (@LidgetandBeyond), and offering to put a banner or protest board at their house.

The pair added: “There are roughly 7,500 houses in Colne, so this is a massive potential increase. This small area will be swollen by almost 1,000 people with the consequent pressure on traffic congestion, school places, our already woeful water treatment works, doctors.

“Once planning permission is given for The Rough, The Lidgett Triangle will almost certainly be next, so for those of you not near The Rough, you are not sitting pretty. This is why we founded the group in the first place, so we can pull together to fight off greedy developers, who will not even necessarily be asked to contribute to our community except for the ‘New House Bonus’ which is paid to the council.”

Members are being asked to help with a leafleting campaign between Christmas and New Year, and a Kick Off Protest Meeting is being planned to take place at Colne Cricket Club.

Pendle Council was unable to comment since “pre-application discussions are confidential”. A spokesman for the developer did not respond before we went to print.