Billionaire Issa brothers' Burnley warehouse plans rejected over concerns to neighbouring homes

Plans by Blackburn's billionaire Issa brothers to complete Burnley Bridge Business Park have been refused.

Councillors rejected officer’s recommendation to grant planning permission for three warehouse units on Titanium Park near Junction 9 of the M65.

Monte Blackburn Ltd, the property arm of EG Group founders Mohsin and Zuber Issa business empire, purchased the nine-acre site in October 2021 in a multi-million pound deal.

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In December they submitted a detailed planning application for the scheme.

Burnley Bridge Business Park
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The site already had outline planning permission for industrial use as the final phase of the Burnley Bridge Business Park which Monte promised would create new jobs .

Burnley Council’s development control committee had been recommended to approve the scheme with 15 conditions.

But councillors overturned the officer’s recommendation because of the adverse impact on nearby homes.

Opposition was led by Clare Hales, from Burnley Green Party and chair of Burnley Bridge Action Group.

She told councillors: “The rules decided here will set a precedent.

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“The impact to local residents will be monumental should this application be approved.

“I’d also like to draw attention to the need for high quality jobs in the area

“There is a correlation between the square footage of workplaces, how much the workers there earn and the number of jobs created.

“Broadly speaking smaller buildings result in more staff per square foot. Bigger buildings rely more on technology so there are fewer employees per square foot and the work is less skilled and therefore commands less pay.

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“We need skilled, high paid jobs in Burnley, put them here.

“It doesn’t have to be a noisy, massive industrial unit.”

The officer’s report said: “Overall, it is considered that, with the relevant conditions in place, the proposal would not result in an unacceptable detrimental impact on the amenities of neighbouring residential occupiers.”

After the meeting, Ms Hales said: "This decision is the culmination of many years’ hard work. In the end, common sense prevailed.

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“We aren’t naive enough to think this is it. We know the developers will come back with an appeal or amended plans.

“We would welcome any development that takes the needs of residents into consideration.

“We are confident, with a little give and take, residents and the business park can coexist happily together.”

A spokesman for Monte Blackburn Ltd declined to comment.