Barnoldswick residents’ fight to take land off potential development list

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DESPITE ongoing protests, a group of Barnoldswick residents made a third unsuccessful bid to have a piece of green belt land in the town removed from a list of sites deemed to have the potential form housing development. A delegation of residents living in Beech Grove, Barnoldswick, attended the meeting of Pendle Council’s Executive and re-stated their case made last month that the land should be excluded from the list as there were access problems, no need for extra housing in the town and brown field sites available.

Spokesman Kevin Wilcock referred to a petition handed in last month which was said to contain 1,000 names and said: “We could have got 10,000 names opposing this. I can’t believe you are even considering this.”

Coun. John David said there was “unanimous disapproval” to the housing idea in Barnoldswick.

“There’s seems to be a hidden agenda here which you would be unwise to follow,” he said. “Exercise discretion and take it out of the list. Including it will give a green light - or an amber one at least - to developers to come in.

“It should be a red light. It is green field land. It does not make sense and it is not welcome,” he said to the applause of the residents.

Planning portfolio holder Coun. Chris Tennant and Coun. Tony Beckett both told the residents that just because the land had the potential to be developed, it did not mean it would be.

Coun. Beckett said: “People can apply for planning permission for any piece of land. It is then up to councillors to decide.”

Council leader Coun. Mike Blomeley said members did not want to aggravate people but any development of any land was a long way off.

Members agreed to confirm their earlier decision to include the site in the list of potential development sites.