Residents campaigning against plans to build 200 new homes on greenfield land have been backed by a prominent county councillor.
Labour County Coun. Azhar Ali accused Pendle Borough Council of "putting people last" after new plans were submitted to develop over 200 homes on green fields known as Further Clough Head in Nelson.
Residents objected to the original outline planning application and now are campaigning against the latest plans forwarded by Pendle Council, in association with PEARL (Pendle Enterprise and Regeneration Ltd) following a government grant of £1.2m. to regenerate the borough.
Some of that money is earmarked to be used to build an access road to the site
Pendle Council leader Coun. Moahammed Iqbal defended the move and said the council was faced with a stark choice of spending the money or sending it back to government.
County Coun. Ali said: ”Once again we have Pendle Council bringing forward proposals against local residents wishes for over 200 homes on virgin green fields while the borough has acres and acres of brownfield sites that could be developed first.
"Sadly, there is no transparency in the process and officers could not answer questions from local people at the consultation meeting. Rather than working with local communities the council is hell bent on putting people last.
"I am having to resort to freedom of information requests to get information which shows how bad things are at the moment with the council.
"There are school place shortages in Nelson and this site would be better suited for a future primary school or indeed developing paths and planting trees to improve the environment and wellbeing.
"We already have problems with traffic coming off the existing estate and this new development will add at least another 400 plus cars onto local roads which are not fit for purpose. Nor can you get a doctors appointment.
"Pendle Council should change it’s motto to 'putting people last'."
Labour's Pendle Council leader Coun. Iqbal said: "The government grant was requested by the previous Conservative administration. Clearly, we had a choice of spending it or sending it back, with all the ramifications that would have. The matter will be discussed and voted on at the next Nelson Committee."