Developers and Burnley Council carpeted by residents for felling dozens of mature trees

A war of words has broken out between Burnley Council and concerned residents who claim that several mature trees have been felled to make way for a warehouse development close to their homes.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 12:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 12:44 pm
The site in question where residents are angry that several mature trees have been chopped down

Work has started on the site in Briercliffe's Balderstone Lane on the Heasandford Industrial Estate, to erect a three storey warehouse for Rolfe Carpets.

Planning for the development was passed in January with various conditions including one that no trees or tree roots would be damaged.

So residents were stunned in recent weeks to see several mature trees felled by developers at the site.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: "The condition quite clearly says that no trees be felled at all and no vegetation clearance march to July.

"Both these conditions were not adhered to.

"The developers have now cut down several mature trees that are contained in protected green space that only the council can maintain.

"These trees took years to grow and were supposed to be used as a screen between the developers and residents.

"We believe this is illegal as birds nest in those trees and it is against the Countryside Act to disturb them."

But a spokesman for Burnley Council said that some trees have been taken down to allow a security fence to be erected around the site and others would be felled to allow exploration work to go ahead to establish of there are historic mining excavations in the area.

The spokesman added that both works had approval from the council saying: "The boundary of this development, which was granted planning permission in January, takes in a number of trees between the site and nearby houses in Lydgate.

"Site clearance does not require planning permission itself although there is a duty to ensure that there is no harm to birds or protected species. An independent wildlife survey was carried out prior to any felling and no evidence of any nesting was found.

"A full and extensive scheme of planting involving more than 500 new trees, plus associated landscaping, is planned to screen the development from the adjacent homes and once this is completed the tree coverage will be considerably improved."

The application is for a three storey warehouse for Rolfe Carpets which currently operates from West Mill, Churchill Way, Brierfield, adjacent to Pendle Village Mill.

Rolfe Carpets is one of the largest independent carpet and flooring wholesalers in the North-West and according to the application the new unit in Balderstone Lane will allow the company to consolidate its operations and create an additional 10 jobs for Burnley residents.

However, the site in question backs on to Lydgate and residents in the area have expressed concern from the start about a number of factors including the size of the building and the effect it will have on wildlife.

Briercliffe Parish Council have listed a raft of objections to the development including concerns about the significant adverse noise from HGVs at the site, the adverse effect on local wildlife and trees and highway safety issues with regards to access and parking.