Padiham housing estate planned despite flood fears

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Plans for 300 new riverside homes at a former Padiham factory are pressing ahead despite flood risk fears.

Developers have submitted plans for the huge housing development on the vacant Baxi site which borders the River Calder.

Environmental experts had voiced concerns over the luxury estate proposals which could be at risk of flooding if the Calder bursts its banks.

The warning came in the weeks after thousands of homes were flooded across southern England after the region was battered by freak rainfall.

Developers Matthew Montague Architects said the risk of flooding on the 16 hectare Wyre Street site has been recognised in a flood risk assessment.

In extreme events the land could be flooded with water levels over 1m from the River Calder, the report suggested.

But the developers believe the housing plans, which includes three and four bedroom family homes, could go ahead with flood prevention measures in place.

The report said steps including raising of ground levels, provision of flood defence infrastructure along the river and employing flood resilient building techniques could lower the risk.

It also stated that no historical evidence had been found of flooding on the land during consultations with the Environment Agency.

A statement in the flood report read: “It is considered that the proposed development design, and the other associated development design measures set out in this report, will ensure the flood risks and impact associated with this proposed development are all acceptably low. As such flood risk should not pose a barrier to planning approval.”

A application for outline planning permission for the housing, proposed for families and skilled and professional workers, were submitted to Burnley Borough Council.

Matthew Montague Architects, speaking in a report, said: “This scheme is designed to re-vitalise a valuable part of the town, adjacent the River Calder, and green space to the north-east, and create a series of aspiration spaces for families to put down their roots.

“The development submitted indicates 300 dwellings, but does not preclude a lower density of development. It will aim to improve the overall quality of housing in Padiham, through the provision of a range of family housing.”