Fear for future of Padiham countryside

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Residents in Padiham fear plans to build industrial units on farmland could scar the town forever.

Burnley Borough Council proposals could see 71 acres of green fields turned into industrial land under the new local plan which is considering options for future development across the borough.

But neighbours Padiham Community Action group have again expressed their anger over the plans.

Campaigners say swathes of greenbelt land along Blackburn Road and Eaves Barn Farm would be lost if expansion plans were given the go-ahead in future.

A meeting has been planned for Friday, February 27th, between 2pm and 7pm in the community room at Padiham Town Hall for people to further air their concerns.

Philip Tomlinson, from Padiham Community Action, said: “Our group has over 100 members drawn from a wide range of the community. Their concern is to keep Padiham green.

“A number of groups also share our concerns. The Calder Catchment group has raised objections to the proposed industrial development at Eaves Barn; industrial pollution could decimate fish stocks in the river.

“In addition to this, there are grave concerns that building on a flood plain could lead to serious flooding downstream as far as Whalley.

“It was also pointed out that highly sensitive salmon spawning beck feeds into the river. The Padiham walking group has also highlighted its objections, and Padiham Green Primary School has produced posters for display on the local Greenway.”

Residents, who have set up a website, claim there is insufficient need for the new industrial estates with priority development sites in the borough like Burnley Bridge, the Michelin site and the Knowledge Park.

Retired teacher Mrs Kath Starkie, who lives just off Blackburn Road, said she has been plagued by noise for the last two years and fears any industrial expansion would make her life unbearable.

She said: “We have to endure noise literally all day and night from the units near our homes.

“To think that even more could be built is very worrying. Not only that, building on the green land but destroy the beauty and make-up of our town which at the moment is very well preserved.”

A spokesman for Burnley Council said: “We are looking for industrial land in the borough to create jobs, bring in new businesses and boost the local economy. We are looking at the options – but they are just options.”

The campaign website can be viewed at www.padihamcommunityaction.co.uk/.