The appeal to develop a beautiful, largely unspoilt slice of countryside on the edge of East Colne is finally underway in Nelson Town Hall, having been unanimously rejected by Pendle Council’s Development Management and Colne Area Committee last spring.
The area, known locally as The Rough, covering over 13 hectares of green fields off Castle Road, Windermere Avenue and Skipton Old Road in Colne is considered by local people to be special, due to its landscape views, its heritage and its recreational use by ramblers and dog walkers.
The two Appeals are being fought by Junction Properties Ltd, a Guernsey-based offshore trust believed to be owned by local property speculators, who want to sell it so developers can build either 90 houses on the south-west corner or 270 houses on the whole site.
Junction Property maintains there is an under-supply of housing sites in the borough and development of the Rough would simply be a “logical extension” of the nearby town.
However, the Lidgett and Beyond Charity, the local community group with nearly 1,000 supporters, has joined Pendle Council to defend the Appeal and show that any development is unsustainable based on its harm to the local landscape, heritage and the Lidgett and Bents Conservation Area, and the local highways network.
Chairman of Lidgett and Bents’s Trustees, David Cockburn-Price said: “Our aim to preserve, enhance and improve access to the heritage, wildlife and general character of this special place for human and animal residents and visitors and their future generations.
“Local people have lent terrific support to our campaign and our fund-raising activities.
“They can lend extra support in the Wilson Room at Nelson Town Hall during the day, for the rest of this week and on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
“People are welcome to come and go. In addition, local people are being given the chance to speak at an evening meeting with the Planning Inspector at Colne Town Hall on Tuesday night from 7pm to 9pm.”
The Planning Inspector, Mike Robins, visited the Rough earlier in the week to see for himself the special quality and accessibility of the area.
He alsolooked at visualisations with planning consultants of what it could become if the Appeal was passed.