Campaigners against a major housing development planned for the eastern end of Colne won another victory last night.
Members of Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee unanimously rejected outline plans for access to the development site off Skipton Old Road and Windermere Avenue – known locally as The Rough – on which it was planned to build 270 homes.
A packed Muni Theatre, with both the ground floor and balcony filled almost to capacity, cheered and applauded the eight Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors as they reached their decision after a debate lasting 90 minutes, upholding the previous refusal of Colne and District Committee earlier this month.
Secretary of campaign group Lidgett and Beyond David Cockburn-Price hailed the result as “the right verdict” and said hard work over many months had paid off.
He said the campaign had received “magnificent support” from the community.
But Alan Davies, representing applicants St Helens-based Junction Property Ltd, said planning officers had recommended approval of the plans and added there was a “significant chance” of an appeal to the Government.
Residents from various points around the site argued against the plans on a number of grounds, but councillors chose three which they thought stood the best chance of success at an appeal – the visual impact of a large scale development, the impact it would have on the heritage of the Lidgett Conservation Area and the high volume of traffic it would generate - estimated by one speaker at 1,000 extra vehicle journeys a day on roads through Colne.
Council planning manager Neil Watson said he felt good arguments could be put on the two impact cases but said both Lancashire County Council and an independent traffic assessment had shown adjustments to traffic junctions and the introduction of other measures could accommodate this, a point strongly contested by the campaigners.