Council plans could put wildlife at risk

Green land near to Shuttleworth Mead indsutrial estate
Green land near to Shuttleworth Mead indsutrial estate

Burnley Borough Council has been accused of putting wildlife at risk for short-term gain by allowing greenbelt land to be used for industrial use near to Padiham.

The Padiham Community Action group said that the council’s decision to retain its planning option to build warehouse units at Shuttleworth Mead South posed a serious risk not only to local wildlife, but also of potential flooding.

It beggars belief in view of the recent flooding that there are proposals to industrialise the flood plain.

David Edmondson, Padiham Community Action group

The green land was included in the recently released Burnley Local Plan which includes an option to install industrial, storage and distribution uses on the site.

David Edmondson, deputy chairman of the action group, said: “We are concerned at the retention of the Burnley Council planning option to build warehouse units at Shuttleworth Mead South.

“We feel that the decision to remove more than nine hectares of our greenbelt has only been made because of the council’s need to meet an unrealistic employment target, and that if the more feasible medium range target had been set then our greenbelt could have remained intact.

“Not only that, the industrial uses are likely to be warehouses, which will employ few people on low wages. This is a short term gain without looking at the longer term negative effect on our environment.

“We are also concerned regarding coalescence with neighbouring boroughs. There will also be serious environmental problems regarding the pollution of fishstocks in the Calder and the area’s wildlife habitat.

“It beggars belief in view of the recent flooding that there are proposals to industrialise the flood plain. This could result in significant downstream problems as far away as Whalley.”

A Burnley Council spokesman said: “The Local Plan Preferred Option is currently the subject of public consultation setting out the council’s preferred policies and site allocations.

“The council is drawing up a new planning framework for Burnley which sets out how land could be used in the future. The Preferred Option includes a proposed employment land allocation a site at Shuttleworth Mead for B2 (General Industrial) and B8 (Storage and Distribution) uses.

“We would encourage anyone with points or concerns about any of the proposed sites to take part in that consultation before it ends at 5pm on Friday August 26th. They can do that by visiting the council’s website www.burnley.gov.uk, by emailing localplan@burnley.gov.uk, or in writing to Burnley Council, Regeneration and Planning Policy, 19 Parker Lane, Burnley BB11 2BY.

“All comments will be considered and people will be able to see how the council has responded to their comments in the consultation report liked to the Local Plan submission report that will be published in December.”