Persimmon Homes has won a 15-year battle for houses on a Colne greenfield site after councillors gave 182 new homes the green light.
The development on land off Knotts Lane went to the chairman’s casting vote after a lengthy debate at Pendle Council’s Colne Committee meeting.
Liberal councillors, with Conservative Coun. Neil Butterworth, were against the application while the remaining Conservatives at the meeting were in favour.
With two Conservative councillors, one Lib Dem and Labour’s sole Colne representative absent, voting was tied at 4-4, meaning Conservative Coun. Graham Waugh’s vote as chairman was crucial.
Lib Dem Coun. Dorothy Lord said she was ”very disappointed” with the decision. She accused the Conservatives of opposing all development on green fields in the areas they represent in the east of the town but had a different view when it came the green countryside in Waterside and the south of Colne.
However, Coun. Paul White refuted the claim saying: “Clearly that is not the case and the land had been identified as housing land.
The plans were much better than last time and the level of local opposition was very lowCoun. Paul White
“The plans were much better than last time and the level of local opposition was very low. We realise there is going to be a need for housing in Pendle and Colne.
“The right location, a low level of objections, the connectivity and improvement in design show clearly it should be approved to meet the demand for housing so people in Pendle and beyond are able to live here.”
The application, on a mix of open land and former railway sidings, had attracted 12 objections but was presented to councillors with a recommendation for approval.
At the meeting, Pam Slater, secretary of the Get Knotted group, told the committee that while there were improvements on the previous application, it was still not acceptable on a mainly greenfield site.
She said if brownfield sites in Colne were used, greenfield sites such as this one would not be needed.
Waterside ward Liberal Coun. Tony Greaves opposed the proposals on grounds of the scale and design.
Coun. Greaves also raised questions relating to the maintenance and control of the landscaped areas, the proposed flood alleviation ponds alongside the railway line, and the phasing of the development.