Fury over Barnoldswick new homes plans

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A WEST Craven councillor clashed angrily with the chairman of Pendle Council’s Executive in a debate of potential housing sites in Barnoldswick.

The war of words between Coun. David Whipp and Coun. Mike Blomeley centred on proposals to designate land on the east of Clifford Street and at Harper Street for possible future housing use. Coun. Whipp, sitting in the public gallery, said the former site had “woefully inadequate” access, while the council’s West Craven Committee had asked for the latter to be designated for off-street parking.

He criticised the way consultation had been carried out, describing it as “shabby and pathetic”.

Coun. Blomeley said there had been ample opportunity for people to respond to the report. “If you have not taken part in it, that is your responsibility and not mine,” he said.

Members agreed to defer a decision for a month to allow area committees the chance to discuss sites, although Coun. Whipp said agendas had already been drawn up for those meetings.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun. Whipp said: “Residents haven’t had any chance to object to these allocations. It’s a denial of democracy to push these plans through without any consultation. If I hadn’t made a fuss the decision would have been made there and then. It’s disgusting.”

Barnoldswick’s Liberal Democrat councillors are now collecting signatures for a petition against the housing allocations in the town.