Anger over Colne 'village green' housing plan

Some of the residents
Some of the residents
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Residents in Colne said they were dismayed and angry after plans were passed for 15 new housing units on land which has been called the area’s “village green”.

The site at Colne Lane and Essex Street has been the subject of a seven months battle between residents, backed by Waterside ward councillors, and the applicants and Pendle Council.

Resident Mark Salisbury told councillors that this land is the local “garden space – something we do not have in our streets”. He said it was breathing space and “essential for the well-being of local families”.

Sue Thompson from Together Housing said the new houses would provide affordable accommodation for local people and Pendle Council would have the right to nominate the first tenants.

Another resident, Rosa McDonnell, had presented a petition from people in the surrounding streets at the previous meeting.

The land in question

The land in question

She said the land was vital for local children and added: “There are so many areas for affordable homes in Colne where it would improve the area, without squidging this teeny tiny area. What is proposed is an ugly building.”

Conservative Coun. Joe Cooney proposed that planning permission was granted. He said all the potential problems with the site, which had caused the previous deferral, had been resolved.

Ward Councillor Tony Greaves said that the land was classed as public open space and no appropriate replacement was being offered.

The Liberal Democrat leader added: "This land had been created by the council as an amenity space for residents in an area of tightly packed terraced streets. He moved an amendment to refuse permission on the grounds of loss of open space and poor design of the scheme.

Councillors voted to grant permission by seven votes to four - the four being the three Liberal Waterside ward councillors and Conservative Coun. Victoria Fletcher.

Essex Street resident Anne McGladdery, one of the campaign leaders, said she was shocked and dismayed by the decision imposed by councillors from other parts of the town.

She added that the residents were angry and were still looking for ways of stopping this development.