Green light given for controversial housing plan on green land in Cliviger

Controversial plans to build more than 100 new houses on green land in Burnley's rural parish of Cliviger have been passed.
A plan of the developmentA plan of the development
A plan of the development

The approval came as a blow to residents, around 30 of whom attended the meeting of Burnley Council's Development Control Committee at Burnley Town Hall last night.

Councillors approved the application to build 125 new homes on land to the west of Red Lees Road, despite residents presenting their own independent report which highlighted issues with the proposal.

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Cliviger resident and former East Lancashire Coroner David Smith spoke on behalf of residents at the meeting.

Another resident, businessman Frank Carroll, said: "The residents who attended the meeting are obviously very disappointed by the decision. Everybody left the meeting feeling very deflated.

"Our speaker was given just five minutes to present our case, as is council policy, while the council's planning officer addressed the committee for a good length of time on why it should be approved. We are also upset that the committee decided to accept their own expert's report rather than the one we had presented.

"The land in question is a beautiful part of the borough overlooking Towneley Park, the view of which will now be eroded. There is a fear that this development will join Burnley and Cliviger together and that we will just become part of the urban sprawl."

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The approval represented the culmination of a long process for the application which was initially rejected by the council before being sent to full council twice and then back to the Development Control Committee with amendments.

These amendments included reducing the number of houses from 129 to 125 and the planting of 63 new trees, compromises which Mr Carroll as "a waste of time".

Other changes to the original plan were the introduction of four affordable homes onto the site and the developers agreeing to pay the full contribution of £980,832 towards education provision, which Lancashire County Council has decided will be spent on Springfield Primary School in Burnley Wood and Unity College in Towneley Park.

Described as a "prominent greenfield site in the open countryside", the site was identified for a large housing development in Burnley Borough Council’s Local Plan, which was ratified in 2017, the inclusion of which complicated the issue.

The application was passed by seven votes to five.