Plans to build hundreds of new homes in rural Burnley could transform Worsthorne and Cliviger into large commuter villages in one of the biggest developments ever earmarked for the borough.
Several traveller sites are also planned across Burnley in proposals which form part of what will become the Burnley Local Plan, a blueprint for the town’s future housing and industrial development.
Burnley Council’s director of economic regeneration Mr Mike Cook said he is determined to keep Burnley on the path to growth, and key to that is attracting “aspirational” people.
He said: “This development will change the way Burnley is seen. It will be the biggest development the borough has seen in decades and will underpin our future growth.
“We think there’s a real potential for Burnley, particularly in the rural east of the borough, to have some real high quality housing development.
“A consultation carried out in March involving landowners, developers and the public highlighted Worsthorne and Cliviger as areas prime for the biggest residential development. This would be the biggest development these areas have seen in decades.
“We realise that for some people this will be really sensitive and challenging, but we want a mature debate on the way forward.”
Early drafts of the plan have earmarked 136 new homes for Red Lees Road,Cliviger, 130 at Butchers Farm, Worsthorne, 64 for Brownside Road, Worsthorne, and a further 53 in Lennox Street.
A large area of greenbelt land near Crow Wood Leisure Centre is also under consideration for 280 new homes.
Burnley entrepreneur Andrew Brown, owner of Crow Wood, welcomed the initiative. “I have been telling the council for years the area needs more better quality housing,” he said.
“We need to attract more executive and middle manager types to town and stop those we have from moving out.
“We have wasted too much time over the years building poor quality terraced housing and later renovating them. Personally, I think they should flatten some of these areas and build the houses rather than greenbelt, but the problem is the council can’t trace half of the landlords.
“The future of the town is better jobs and higher quality housing.”
Mr Cook added the plan also sees potential in expanding the Network 65 industrial estate at Hapton.
The report also proposes consultation on three further locations seen as options for gypsy and traveller sites, which the council must provide for within the Local Plan as stipulated by the Government.
Those identified are land at Heald Road, Barden, Marlborough Street, Burnley Wood, and Lawrence Avenue, near Accrington Road.
Executive member Coun. Shah Hussain said: “Although we are a long way off finalising the Local Plan, it is important people have their say early in the process.
“The Local Plan will give a framework for the borough’s long-term future. It needs to be an ambitious plan, unlocking Burnley’s potential so we continue to build on the recent economic growth.
“Burnley is going places, and this document will help put in place job prospects for our children, homes for the next generation, and opportunities for all our citizens to achieve.”
If the report is agreed at tonight’s Executive Committee meeting, there will be a public consultation from August 26th to October 7th.
There will be drop-in events at venues across the borough, including public meetings in Cliviger and Worsthorne. People will also be able to comment through the council website www.burnley.gov.uk.