Outrage over plans for new major housing development in Briercliffe

A total of 130 homes will be built on this site in Briercliffe if given the green light. Photo: Google Maps
A total of 130 homes will be built on this site in Briercliffe if given the green light. Photo: Google Maps

Controversial plans to build a new housing development in Briercliffe have sparked outrage with objectors.

The application, if given the go-ahead, will see 130 homes built on greenfield land north of Higher Saxifield Street and Standen Hall Drive.

However, aggrieved homeowners believe the area is already on the verge of becoming overpopulated and to build further homes would only increase the strain on surrounding infrastructure.

Simon Collinge lives in Ellerbeck Close, three doors down from the property in Standen Hall Drive developers are proposing is knocked down to allow access to the site.

He said he was yet to receive official notification from Burnley Council and could not understand where all this demand for new housing was coming from.

"The building works traffic going back and forth to the site will be horrendous enough and then there's the extra residential traffic once the house are built," he said. "If there's a total of 130 homes and the average number of cars per household is 2.4, then that's 300 plus extra cars making their way up that narrow road.

"I've looked at the plans and they are for family homes. Where are all these children going to go to school? Briercliffe School, coincidentally, has just announced plans to extend but even then that may not be enough. Briercliffe Surgery is already oversubscribed and it is almost impossible to get an appointment. The infrastructure is just not here for extra homes.

"I am stood on the field in question now with my dog.That was one of the big draws when deciding to move up here. I'm sure there are brownfield sites the council could look at that would be more suitable than up here."

A public meeting is being held at Briercliffe Community Centre, Jubilee Street, tomorrow (Thursday) from 7-30pm.

Ward councillors Anne Kelly, Margaret Lishman and Gordon Lishman will be in attendance as will as a representative from Burnley Council's planning department.

"I've been handing out leaflets for the meeting and a lot of people I've been taking to have lived here their entire life. They can't believe the plans.

"A few people are resigned to the fact it is going to happen and unfortunately, it does smack of a done deal. But I want as many people as possible to come along to this meeting and give the planning officer some earache. They need to know that we are not happy with this.

"They keep saying there is demand for housing but where is this demand coming from because I certainly don't see it. This development will not enhance the area in any way."

Briercliffe Parish Council is also holding a meeting to discuss the plans at Briercliffe Community Centre on Tuesday at 7-30pm.

The parish council's planning committee has stated that it will not be supporting the application when it eventually goes before Burnley Council's development control committee.

In a report compiled by members, reasons for objecting the plans are listed and include an increase in traffic, school places, loss of habitat and impact on neighbouring allotments.

"There will be an increase in traffic which will affect existing neighbours in the enjoyment of their properties," part of the report reads. "It has been noted that the traffic survey dates from November, 2013 and must be out of date by now. As things are at 2 cars per house, there would be an additional 260 cars on roads, near the development and in Briercliffe.

"Many of the roads in the area are not capable of supporting many more, or any more, vehicles."

According to the report, the application has a long history and first surfaced as part of a much larger application about 25 years ago.

This application was granted in part, but the areas now being considered were refused planning permission.

"As no additional public facilities are being proposed as part of this application, a strain will be put on school places, play and green spaces in the area", another section of the report reads.

"This is particularly significant with the former, as one of the local primary schools is about to be enlarged but only increasing the numbers by 15 pupils per year.

"This development is likely, because of its location, to break the skyline giving a ragged appearance to the development when seen from a distance. This point was a major reason why the application was refused when it was first submitted."

Briercliffe Parish Council's meeting is open to members of the public.