A rallying call to “Keep Padiham Green” and protest against controversial plans to build industrial units on farmland was made this week.
Proposals to build the units are due to be discussed by Burnley borough councillors this month and, if they give the go-ahead to the project, swathes of greenbelt land along Blackburn Road and Eaves Barn Farm would be lost forever, protestors claim.
Mr David Edmondson, a member of Padiham Community Action, a group set up on Facebook to protest against the plans to build on 71 acres of green fields, told the Express: “We really want to get the message out there in Padiham that if these plans are given the go-ahead it will drastically change the town forever and there will be no going back.
“Green fields will be lost, the fish stock in the River Calder could be descimated and it would have a disastrous effect on the Greenway which would be cluttered with industrial units.”
The proposals are contained in the Local Plan which sets out a vision for the borough’s future in terms of housing, employment and industry.
Padiham Community Action now has 300 members and its Facebook page has currently over 600 likes. Dozens of shops and small businesses in Padiham have thrown their support behind the campaign along with Padiham schools, environmental, angling, walking organisations and the town council.
You need to register your objection to it now while there is still timeDavid Edmondson, Padiham Community Action
Mr Edmondson added: “We have been able to reach out to a lot of people but it is vital everyone in Padiham realises the negative impact this development could have on their town and its heritage.
“You need to register your objection to it now while there is still time.”
Protestors claim there is insufficent need for the new industrial units as there are other sites in Burnley that need to be filled including Burnley Bridge and M65 business parks.
Protestors also point out that Eaves Barn is a flood plain and habitat for wildlife such as otters and herons, which makes it unsuitable for industrial development. They also believe the Greenway would be virtually destroyed.
Mr Edmondson added: “The Greenway has taken years to cultivate and is well used by the public of all ages, pensioners, children, walkers, horse riders and cyclists. It has rural views, open countryside and a haven for wildlife. It is the gateway to Padiham.
“If this plan goes ahead it would become an urban corridor with units that would be a blot on the landscape.”
The urban sprawl could also lead to Padiham losing its identity and becoming indistinguishable from Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley. Campaigners are also worried the industry created by the new units would be low skilled, warehousing and storage based which would not attract investment to the town.
To view the campaign website go to www.padihamcommunityaction.co.uk/.