Trawden backyard development plan angers residents

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Residents have expressed their anger after plans to build a detached Trawden property on a domestic garden were given the thumbs up.

The proposals for White Lee Avenue were approved at the latest Colne and District Committee meeting.

But now locals have expressed their concerns over changes to government planning guidelines, the visual and financial impact they feel the new house could have on the area, and potential parking issues. Pendle Council have defended the decision, stating that comments from residents were taken into consideration, that the design of the proposed house is in keeping with the rest of the street and that its visual impact would be acceptable.

One White Lee Avenue resident said: “As far as I understand it, planning laws have been relaxed, and councils are being actively encouraged to approve further building on infill sites, rather than greenbelt sites. But they are taking it right to the letter with this one. We feel badly let down.

“There will be an increase in traffic on the avenue. There are already an awful lot of small children, and there will be two more cars at least. There will be all the problems while they are building the thing as well.

All other objections were listed in case officer Alex Cameron’s report to the committee.

David Barry Ashworth, of Wheatley Springs, Barrowford, also expressed his concerns to the Colne Times - since he knows residents living on the road. He has written to Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson regarding the application.

The 70-year-old, who has had over 50 years experience in the building industry, said: “This is likely to have a major impact on the bulk of residents nearby. Most of the residents are absolutely gutted.”

Responding, Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s deputy chief executive, said: “The application was approved because it accords with both local and national planning policy and is acceptable in all respects.

“Policy 20 of Pendle’s adopted Local Plan allows development of new housing in gardens within a settlement boundary with a limit of 0.2ha. The site of the proposed house lies within the settlement boundary of Trawden and is therefore an acceptable location for new housing development in principle.

“The National Planning Policy Framework (published in March 2012) encourages the re-use of previously developed (brownfield) land (paragraph 111), but residential gardens are excluded from this definition.

“However, this is set against the key principle of the framework, which is a presumption in favour of sustainable development, so it does not specifically restrict the development of new housing on garden land.”