Labour and the Liberal Democrats were at loggerheads with the Conservatives about green field land for housing ahead of Pendle Council’s Executive meeting last night.
A number of sites across the borough were considered to be possibly disposed of for housing, including Gib Hill on the Colne and Nelson boundary, Halifax Road in Brierfield and Aspen Grove, Bailey Street and Red Lion Street in Earby. These are set to go out to area committees for consultation.
Also up for consideration last night was a proposal to spend £500,000 of a £1.5m Brownfield Sites Fund to support already approved applications on brownfield sites across Pendle, which was expected to be given the green light. Conservative councillors have expressed anger at the green field proposals, however, claiming that the Labour group supported by the Lib Dems, are selling off land and do not care about areas where they have no representation.
Coun. Tommy Cooney said: “This is total hypocrisy from Labour; they pretend to defend our green fields but as soon as they get in power they sell them off as quick as they can. We saw that last year when Labour forced through 500 homes at Trough Laithe, then they tried to close Marsden Park Golf Course, which just happens to border Gib Hill which they now want to sell and build on.
“The Lib Dems pretend to influence them but it’s obvious they are just by-standers and let Labour do whatever they want. The Liberals are more interested in power than defending the residents of Marsden.”
Coun. Mike Goulthorp said: “Earby is still recovering from the worst floods in many years, the last thing we need is another large housing development.
“Everyone, including Pendle Council, should be focussed on sorting out the flooding issues before we even think about building more houses. Labour has no representation in Earby and its clear they don’t care about the area. The Liberals pretend to have influence but they are just by-standers and will let Labour do whatever they want so long as their councillors get a fancy title and a seat on the Executive.”
But Labour’s Council leader Coun. Mohammed Iqbal and Lib Dem Deputy Council Leader Coun. Tony Greaves have hit back at the accusations, saying central government policy is to blame.