Resident's anger over new fuel station 'compromise'

Residents opposed to a plan to build a new fuel station near their homes in Colne have said compromises from developers do not go far enough.

Tuesday, 28th September 2021, 2:52 pm

As revealed in Leader Times Newspapers last month, plans have been drawn up to build a new fuel station and drive-through coffee shop with two new industrial units at the start of the M65.

The development would be built next to Whitewalls Drive in Colne, where residents are concerned about increased traffic levels, the negative environmental impact and the industrial eyesore they believe this will create in a residential area of primarily Victorian-era buildings.

Following the publication of our original article, developers the EG Group met residents to discuss their concerns - noticeably the scale of the development, the loss of green fields, protected trees, and the damaging effects on the adjacent nature reserve and conservation area.

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The new plans

However, residents say that despite promising discussions with EG, new revised plans recently submitted are "hardly any different".

Mr John Rivett, chairman of Greenfield Forum, said: "We drew up a very modest and brief list of concessions we would like them to make to prevent the development destroying our neighbourhood.

"The representative from the EG Group was very friendly and was confident we could all reach an amicable agreement. He was very insistent that I fed back positively to the residents group. He was also keen that I communicated to the councillors that EG are working with and appeasing our concerns."

Residents' requests included:

A field near the proposed development

Dispensing with one of the huge industrial units ear marked for a tyre fitting bay in the field 10 meters to the rear of properties and plant trees in this area instead to offset the carbon footprint of the development; protect the Tree Preservation Order trees from unnecessary felling by moving the location of a small access road, and improve the planting and tree planting scheme on site.

However, Mr Rivett added: "Eventually the rep got back to us saying they had been working day and night to draw up new plans for us but a lot of our requests could not be now considered as they paid too much for the land.

"The new plans were hardly any different to the old plans. Importantly the access road had been moved as requested but to a position that would cause the felling of three different mature TPO trees!

"After discussions the industrial units still remain in place. The rep requested that I presented the new plans to the residents and encouraged me to support the new plans and again insisted that I gave him positive feedback for bringing the two sides together.

"He insisted that EG would get planning permission granted anyway, if not at committee then certainly at appeal therefore this is the best offer on the table.

"In the end this turned out to be a hard sales ploy by EG intending to give us nothing in return for positive publicity. We rejected the offer as it promised a lot but delivered nothing."

The plans can be viewed here