Homes get go-ahead on Earby workshop site

The former workshop building in Water Street, Earby, which is to be converted into three houses.
The former workshop building in Water Street, Earby, which is to be converted into three houses.

A three-house planning application has been approved by Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee despite one councillor calling it a “disaster”.

Councillors deferred making a decision on the conversion of a workshop to create three dwellings at 54-56 Water Street, Earby, at December’s meeting.

Councillors at the time were unhappy there was no off-street parking to go with the planned houses, which included one home with four bedrooms and the other two with three bedrooms.

But at January’s meeting, the plan was approved after applicant Jo Steele reported he had reached an agreement with the Environment Agency on a flood wall issue allowing off-street parking for three small cars, and three flood proof doors would be used on the houses instead.

One suggestion by councillors in December was to sell off a small portion of green land where Water Street meets Stoney Bank Road, to alleviate parking problems on the two roads.

Coun. Chris Tennant said: “I think the fact the Environment Agency have looked at it and had a rethink has surprised me but that’s to be welcomed.

“It’s not ideal. I still would have loved to have seen more provision of parking but you cannot force the developer to buy land off the council.

“On balance, I’m not happy. (But) I think we have to approve this now.”

However, fellow Earby councillor Coun. Morris Horsfield took a different view. He said: “I’m afraid it’s not much improvement at all.

“I stood there the other day. What gets me is that something can be done about it. It could save a bad accident.

“They don’t get it all. There is nowhere to park my car round there. To do something that could cause an accident; it’s wrong.

“For this to be passed, it would be a disaster. We are here to represent people and I don’t think we are being fair on the people in Earby.”

Committee chairman Coun. David Whipp urged councillors to find a balance and argued that turning an application down which in his opinion would be lost at appeal and incur costs did not service the people of Earby well either.

Coun. Whipp said: “I think committee has got to be pragmatic about this. We wouldn’t have the support of the highways authority at an appeal. If it went to appeal, I think we would be blown out of the water.”

The application was passed by five votes to one.