Controversial plans to build new homes given green light

The plans were approved
The plans were approved

Controversial plans to build 79 new homes in Colne have been approved by Pendle Council.

The council's Policy and Resources Committee approved the application to build the new houses in Harrison Drive despite objection from nearby residents, many of whom attended the meeting.

The contentious proposal would see a former sports field and current local green space used for development to help fill the shortage of houses being built in Pendle.

Five members of the public spoke out against the development with many more attending in agreement.

A representative of Harrison Drive residents cited heavy traffic in the area already and said that another 200 estimated cars would cause chaos despite the Highways authority saying it had no concerns.

They also highlighted bats roosting in the area which are a protected species and said the area currently has low crime, but this could change by squeezing in more people into a confined area.

It was mentioned in the report that the land has become overgrown, but residents insisted it is still used everyday, and had only become overgrown because the council has cut back on its services and not tended to the land in many years.

In defence of the development, Jennifer Oxley, spokesman for the architects, Liberata, said they had consulted the public and local residents about the plans and 67% approved the design of the buildings and layouts. She said they had also made adjustments following consultation feedback.

Lib Dem Coun. David Clegg, noted that yellow lines would be marked outside six properties near the new access road meaning residents would lose parking spaces outside their homes.

Four of these houses had a drop kerb and hardstanding for parking, but the other two did not.

Coun. Clegg proposed the developers pay to install drop kerbs while creating the access road so the properties could use their front garden/hardstanding for parking if they desired.

Planning Officer Neil Watson explained the situation regarding the need to meet the five-year housing target, and because Pendle was behind in its target that it gave developers a favourable position - known as a 'tilted balance'.

Chairman, Coun. Mohammed Iqbal said: "We are stuck as a council. We are miles behind our housing target. The day will come soon when developers come and park their bus on greenfields and you'll say why didn't we approve the easy applications."

After being put to the vote, the application was approved with Coun. Clegg's amendment.