Lobby group wins first home battle

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A LOBBY group has won the first part of its battle to stop 203 homes from being built on the Nelson-Colne boundary.

At the latest Pendle Council Colne and District Committee meeting, councillors decided to reject controversial plans for new properties on land off Knotts Lane, which were submitted by housing giant Persimmon Homes back in September.

For the past three months, the Get Knotted group have been working hard to try and prevent the proposals from being given the go-ahead, and chairman Glenn Cardwell said members have been left “very happy” with the results of the first vote.

The campaigners are now hopeful that anybody against the application will come and show their support at Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee.

Talking after the meeting, Mr Cardwell said: “We got a unanimous decision, which is more than we could have expected.

“The councillors at the meeting gave us praise for the work we have done, which is nice.

“We always knew that going to the Development Control Committee would be the next step. I am going to be talking to councillors at the meeting, and hopefully before that as well.

“I don’t know what the Development Committee will say, but I hope they see it in the same light as the District Committee — I don’t see how they can’t.

“We would like people to turn up on the 19th. Numbers speak volumes. It wouldn’t necessarily be to speak, but to support.”

The proposals relate to an area of land on the east side of Colne, with the boundary with Nelson on the west side.

If approved, they would include 16 two bedroom homes, 67 three bedroom homes, and 120 four bedroom homes, would include an area of open space in the centre of the site, and a further two areas of open space in countryside outside of the settlement limits for Colne.

Get Knotted’s reasons for objection include wildlife concerns, traffic problems and drainage issues, and councillors including Coun. Tony Greaves and Coun. Joe Cooney, also raised their fears on factors such as design, and open space.

Coun. Greaves said: “There are plenty of reasons we can put forward that will be accepted as reasonable reasons if it should go to appeal.”

David Penny, of the Green Party, also expressed his opinion that “priority is to be given to the use of existing buildings and brownfield sites”.

But Kevin Farrington, Persimmon’s technical director, said: “I think it’s probably important for me to say that, as a developer, we do develop a large proportion of brownfield sites.”

The decision was referred to Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee, after town hall solicitor Howard Culshaw was concerned the council would have costs awarded against it if the application went to appeal.

Pendle Council planning officer Neil Watson also recommended the plans for approval, and stated that a similar refusal in 2005 led to the council paying £34,000 in costs.

But fighting back Coun. Ann Kerrigan said: “We are now encouraged to look at planning issues along with the community.”

Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday at Nelson Town Hall.