Councillors have approved a plan which could see up to 148 homes built in Barnoldswick.
Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee approved an outline application from Mr R. Sutton seeking access to the former Barnsay Mill shed site and adjacent green field off Long Ing Lane.
In May, West Craven councillors had turned down the plan on noise concerns, the impact on traffic and flooding issues.
Monday night’s meeting heard many of the same concerns from councillors as well as from one objector, Peter Crompton, who raised a range of concerns he had such as the road capacity and public safety.
Mr Crompton also spoke on behalf of Maria and Kenneth Phillips, of Higher Barnsay Farm, who had serious concerns about one of the access points to the site along footpath 10 and the need for it to be kept open during construction and disruption to water and electricity supplies.
The committee was also provided with an updated report by Neil Watson, Pendle Council’s Planning Manager.
He told the councillors that money would have to be provided by the developer for an improved “Mover” traffic light system at the junction of Rainhall Road and Essex Street and Fern Lea Avenue in Barnoldswick and access at Long Ing Lane, including improvements for cycles.
Mr Watson said there was no request for an education contribution from Lancashire County Council because its view was there would be enough school places to accommodate the estimated 30 additional schoolchildren the development would generate.
He also told the committee that the developer did not yet know the cost of development and, therefore, before a contribution could be made towards buses, a viability study would have to be carried out.
Coun. David Whipp said he could not vote in favour of the application. He said: “I hear about this Mover. It must be some sort of magic that these right turning vehicles blocking the whole junction up disappear.”
Chairman of the committee, Coun. Ken Hartley, agreed that the junction “already beyond capacity” would not be able to cope.
He said: “We have 148 homes on top of the various other developments. There are 46 (new homes) only 200 metres away from this site and another building site which is on appeal.”
Coun. Whipp also dismissed the county council’s view that it would create 30 children of a school age. “Thirty children? Whose leg do they think they are pulling? Mr Watson, where do they get these figures from because to me it’s rubbish.”
Coun. Whipp said he would welcome a bus contribution rather than a cycle path which “at best is 150 yards long... which goes from nowhere to nowhere.”
He also highlighted flooding and noise concerns again, adding: “The general issue is that the field during times of flooding is a reservoir, it collects water, which then runs away into Salterforth and Earby.
“My main concern is with that part of the development is the impact and effect on flooding downstream of this area.
“My second concern is that Silentnight is a noisy operation when there is a lot of ambient sound about in the day. When it is at its busiest, it is 24 hours a day. At night, when it is quieter, we all know it sounds louder.
“We have a proposed development a canal’s width away from a major employer of 800 to 900 jobs, creating wealth which will be the subject of people saying ‘we can’t live here’ and we’ll have environmental health issuing noise abatement orders saying it needs to operate quieter.
“People will be complaining that Silentnight is noisy and you’ll have 900 jobs going down the road.”
However, Coun. Nadeem Younis said he took on board Coun. Whipp’s concerns but that there were no grounds for refusal and “reluctantly” moved to pass the motion.
Coun. Younis said the council needed to “pick its battles” carefully with regards to planning applications.
It was seconded by Coun. James Starkie and was passed 8-3 to delegate grant consent to Mr Watson subject to negotiating section 106 and 278 funding.