Plea to save our greenbelt land

Some of the under-threat greenbelt land
Some of the under-threat greenbelt land

A group of residents in Padiham have voiced their opposition to plans to “industrialise greenbelt land” near their homes.

The Padiham Community Action Group are concerned about the inclusion of land at Shuttleworth Mead South in the latest version of Burnley Borough Council’s Local Plan, which includes an option to install industrial, storage and distribution uses on the site.

The document, which identifies where homes and industrial units could be built across the borough over the coming years, has attracted controversy from various quarters.

David Edmondson, deputy chairman of the group, said: “The land is Greenbelt. We are also concerned about the increased risk of flooding and wildlife being adversely affected.

“There would be a loss of grazing for livestock and of good soil.

“We are also worried about any increased environmental pollution, which may decimate fish stocks in the River Calder.

“Shuttleworth Business Park is an eyesore – this extension would make it worse. There would also be an increase in the volume of traffic on the A6068 and along Blackburn Road.”

Mr Edmondson said the group also disputed Burnley Council’s assumption that it needed extra land for industry – citing nearby industrial sites and Simonstone and Altham.

He also drew attention to Burnley’s static population and said it could even drop in future.

Mr Edmondson urged members of the public to share thier concerns with the council now that the next stage of consultation on the Local Plan has opened.

He added: “After the consultation period the Local Plan goes to an independent inspector for scrutiny.

“We believe we can make a strong enough case showing loss of Greenbelt, an unworkable traffic plan, the dangers of flooding, and unrealistic employment targets. We do, however, need enough people to raise concerns on these lines.

“The proposal that this site will provide local jobs is false; prospective employers cannot guarantee this. The greenbelt is a vital community leisure facility.”

Burnley Council approved the Proposed Submission Plan at the end of March.

A formal consultation for final representations will run up to and including Friday May 26th.

Two drop-in sessions will be held to allow people to come and look at the proposals and speak to council officers about the final draft and its forthcoming Examination.

These will both be held at Burnley Town Hall, between 2pm and 9pm, on April 18th and May 11th.

Comments can be made online at: www.burnley.gov.uk, by email to: localplan@burnley.gov.uk or in writing to Burnley Borough Council, Regeneration and Planning Policy, 19 Parker Lane, Burnley.