Residents' joy as housing application for 'natural beauty spot' in Padiham turned down for second time

Residents, who have opposed a plan to build houses on a 'natural beauty spot' in Padiham, are celebrating after the application was kicked out by councillors for a second time.

Although it had been recommended for conditional approval, members of the Development Control committee voted 12 to 3 to turn down the application to build six detached bungalows on the area of land known as Craggs Farm.

Held remotely and broadcast live on You Tube the decision was welcomed by residents who are vehemently opposed to development on this patch of land which has twice been rejected.

Residents were thrilled in March after the controversial plans were first given the red light by councillors.

The area known as Craggs Farm in Padiham after it was cleared of all its flora and fauna.

Members of Burnley's Development Control committee refused the plan to build the bungalows on the grounds that it was considered to be 'detrimental to the character and appearance of the area.'

In a report presented to the committee by planning officers the development was described as not being in keeping with the surrounding area by virtue of its 'poor design and layout.'

The plan was also kicked out on the grounds that because it would be built so close to several homes in Whalley Road there would not be enough distance to ensure privacy to the homes.

But residents' celebrations were shortlived as the plan was re-submitted in April with alterations made to the distance from the existing homes in Whalley Road.

But the new and amended plan was described as a 'cosmetic makeover' of the original plan by Padiham Community Action.

A spokesman said: “In recent years the site has already been refused twice for development.

"It was rejected at the first stage of the latest local plan on the grounds that there was already sufficient housing planned in the area. The designated site was rich in wildlife and natural vegetation which was bulldozed without any prior notification to local residents or the council."

The campaign against developing the site in Vicarage Avenue began after it was cleared several months ago leaving residents angry as the area has long been acknowledged as a 'natural beauty spot' with an abundance of wildlife and vegetation including bats, owls, wild flowers, lilac, trees and deer in the summer months.

A public meeting was held to draw up a battle plan against the application and residents even chipped in to employ a professional planning consultant to present their case.

The area is part of the Huntroyde Estate and lies in a triangle between Blackburn Road, Vicarage Avenue and Whalley Road. There is a building known as Craggs farmhouse on the western boundary.

The site was not included in Burnley's Local Plan, which was adopted last year and sets out the overall strategy for development up to 2032.

Padiham Town Council objected to the application and Lancashire County Council had expressed concerns about parking and access issues.

In 2007 an application to build a 60 bed care home was turned down and in 2017 a second application for 20 houses on the site was also given the red light.

In recent weeks the site has started to return to its natural state and deer has even been spotted there for the first time in months.