Controversial village homes plan to go-ahead?

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A controversial planning application for the redevelopment of a mill site in a Pendleside village is due to go before Pendle councillors on Thursday night.

Members of the Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee are recommended to approve the application to demolish part of the former William Pownall and Sons carpet factory in Spen Brook Mill, Newchurch, build 18 four and five-bedroomed homes on the site and convert the remaining mill buildings into 10 three-bedroomed homes.

Last year, Goldshaw Booth Parish Council, which covers Newchurch and Spen Brook, objected to the proposal, saying there were too many units.

This decision led to the resignation of the council chairman, Bill Mayor, amid claims some members who had previously been in favour of the proposals had changed their minds and voted against.

A report to Thursday’s meeting from planning officer Kathryn Hughes said there had been five objections to the plans.

The grounds cited included one which said the development would double the size of Spen Brook – a hamlet of around 35 houses – at a time there were houses for sale in the settlement and others pointing out a Government inspector had turned down another application for a major redevelopment on the site two months ago.

However, Mrs Hughes said in her report the scale of the development accorded with the latest Pendle Local Plan and recommended the committee to grant planning permission.