Green light for Barnoldswick homes

An artistic impression of what some of the 46 homes approved by councillors for land off Valley Gardens, Barnoldswick, will look like.
An artistic impression of what some of the 46 homes approved by councillors for land off Valley Gardens, Barnoldswick, will look like.

Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee has unanimously approved a plan for 46 homes to be built on land off Valley Road in Barnoldswick.

Mulberry Homes Ltd submitted the plans in July for the homes which will be located on land between the old Silentnight car park and the rear of properties on Ethel Street.

The 46 homes will include a mix of two and three bedroom affordable houses in terraced and semi-detached form and the plan includes construction of an entrance off Valley Road and internal road development.

Forty-five per cent of the houses are designated as affordable. Twenty five would be market housing and 21 socially rented.

The plans had an officer recommendation of approval but councillors and the public had concerns.

Speaking against the application at the meeting, Barnoldswick resident Mike Thompson made a number of points including questioning the need for the development with the number of unsold and unfinished houses in Barnoldswick.

He also queried the effect 46 homes would have on school rolls, whether bats had been taken into consideration and if the proposed unilateral undertaking for the allotments meant the plan was already a done deal.

But Pendle Council’s Planning Manager Neil Watson disagreed on housing saying: “There’s a clear need for affordable homes throughout Pendle.”

On the issue of bats, Mr Watson said no evidence had been found in trees during an ecological survey.

Coun. David Whipp, who chaired the meeting, said the new two-fold entry Barnoldswick Church School would be able to cope with any increase in numbers.

Coun. Whipp had concerns over the “one in one hundred year” flood from the adjacent to the Bowker drain.

But his fears were allayed with the strengthening of a condition meaning a greenfield drainage system would be introduced to slow water run off and the house floor level being deemed adequate by Mr Watson.

A unilateral undertaking was proposed on the night which would see allotment land transferred to Pendle Council for £1 once the first house is occupied or five years after construction starts.

A figure of £5,000 to be provided by the applicant to Pendle Council to bring the allotments up to a usable standard was discussed although not formally agreed.

Coun. Whipp expressed his surprise at the lack of objections to the plans for such a development.

Paul Maskell, Chairman of Kelbrook and Sough Parish Council, did not have a vote but said he felt it was a “sound development”.