Plan for houses at historic beauty spot thrown out

Greenberfield Locks
Greenberfield Locks
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Residents are celebrating after controversial plans to build more than 100 houses near to a Grade II listed beauty spot were defeated.

Pendle Borough Council’s Development Control Committee rejected a planning application to build the houses on land overlooking Greenberfield Locks, the “jewel in the crown” of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, at a packed meeting in the Rolls Royce Leisure Centre.

Councillors unanimously rejected the proposal due to the impact on the canal heritage, on countryside and on highway grounds.

Coates ward Coun. Claire Teall was the first of 10 speakers voicing opposition to the development.

More than 80 letters of objection were raised in writing and local man Ian Lyons organised a campaign.

Addressing the committee he had said that the plan breached several areas of the Planning Act 1990, in particular, the sections on listed buildings and conservation areas.

Members of the committee spent over two hours deliberating the decision with many probing questions to Pendle’s planning manager Neil Watson, who set out the Government’s position on housing numbers and the implications of part of the land being included in Pendle Council’s Strategic Housing Land Assesment in 2014.

Barnoldswick Coun. David Whipp proposed that the application was refused on three grounds – impact on heritage, landscape and highways.

He said: “Development would destroy the heritage setting of the canal at Greenberfield which is of national and international importance as well as local significance.

“There are also highway issues which the developers may be able to overcome, but heritage and landscape are matters that cannot lightly be swept aside.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lyons said: “It’s been a big challenge trying to relay information to residents and ensure they had enough time to get a submission into Pendle Council and get along to the important meetings.

“But the result of the meeting has made it all worthwhile. While it may not be completely over, and I suspect the developers may appeal or submit a different application, it’s a big win for local residents and we can be happy with the result for now.

“I want to say a big thankyou to everybody that helped me to campaign against the development.”

The applicants can appeal to a Government Inspector to try and get the decision overturned or submit a further application to try and overcome some of the reasons for refusal.