Anger as planning application refusal for 200-home Hollins Cross Farm development in Burnley could be over-ruled
Burnley Council’s planning committee – which voted to refuse plans for a major 200 house development – could see the decision overturned, much to the anger of residents opposed to the plan.
The dispute arose at last Thursday’s Development Control Committee which voted to reject a controversial application from Prospect Homes to build 200 homes on land Hollins Cross Farm off Woodplumpton Road in Burnley.
The councillors, who voted to reject the plan over flooding fears, could see their decision overturned after the council’s head of housing and development control Paul Gattrell said rejection was contrary to the authority’s Local Plan.
However, residents are now considering legal action and an official complaint
As reported in the Burnley Express, residents living near to the scheme are concerned over the potential flooding of the site and the building of a retention pond.
In January the committee postponed a decision after the developer agreed a last minute report on potential flooding was submitted by the Hollins Cross Farm Residents Group opposing the scheme could be considered.
Martyn Bell, one of the residents, said: “The planning application was turned down by a democratic vote by legally appointed committee members from all major political party councillors.
"The reason the application was turned down was due to insufficient evidence that the design of a retention basin/pond could not categorically be proved would not cause a flood risk to the surrounding properties and area, and that said pond would not be a drowning hazard to the large number of children who would surround it from the new development.
"This refusal decision was made because the applicant did not have conclusive evidence that a flood risk could be prevented and guaranteed. This evidence would have been conclusive from a full winter ground water survey.”
Mr Bell also contested the council’s view that the application’s refusal was contrary to the Local Plan.
He added: “This planning application decision is in no way modifying or attempting to modify the Local Plan as was alleged by Paul Gatrell, it was rejected because it is a badly designed application.
"The Local Plan has designated this area of land for development, that fact has not changed. This land is still available and nothing has changed in relation to the Local Plan, there have been no changes to boundaries, no wording changes, no modifications to the site access roads of the original local plan for HS1/2.
"The site is still available for any and all developers to make an application to develop it.”
A Burnley Council spokesperson said: “As per the council's constitution, the matter will be referred to the head of legal and democratic services to confirm whether she agrees with the view of the head of housing and development control that the committee’s decision to refuse is substantially contrary to the Local Plan, in which case the matter will be referred to full council for final determination.”
The head of legal and democratic service’s decision on whether to refer the matter to full council for final determination is expected to be made before Friday (17th).