LETTER: Good news that Colne house plan is refused

I, and I am sure countless others, welcomed your recent report on Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee’s refusal, in line with officer recommendations, to turn down an application to build a two-storey house in the rear garden of 279 Keighley Road, Colne.

In short, this garden borders the Lidgett Triangle on two sides. The Lidgett Triangle is in a protected area and also open land in a larger conservation area, and clearly this sort of building here appears most reasonably and firmly to continue to be against planning policy. Since it has been raised, I think it is now very important to comment on the claim of the applicant’s developer that a similar development had been given the go ahead in the past and therefore refusal would be unfair. I think we are talking about the same case when I say the circumstances around that case left the then Lidgett Preservation Group Committee (sadly some of whom have long since passed on) wondering whether the decision was seriously flawed.

Finally, when the committee wanted to look at the plans of the building as it was reaching completion, those plans, at the time,could not be located. This is now long since in the past and closed but the reason I raise it is that the Colne Committee has clearly and sensibly chosen to ignore the developer’s argument of precedent. However, should this matter go to appeal, adjudicated by an outsider (a Government Inspector or whatever) the idea of this other building being used to justify this development would be like a barrister trying to use bad case law to justify his case. Let us hope the Colne Committee’s refusal is the end of the matter. Approval now would be a travesty.

The Government now seems hell bent on revising planning procedures to quicken approvals and ostensibly give developers more power. Bitter arguments have broken out between Government Ministers and the likes of the National Trust and the Society for the Protection of Rural England.

The implications for Pendle should become clearer in the not too distant future. Let’s hope all the good and incredibly detailed work done by Pendle Council’s planning department in particular and our community over the last five years is not at a stroke going to unravel. Watch these pages!

OWEN OLIVER

Bents, Colne