Colne caravan site’s permanent homes plan raises worries including future hillside housing

A caravan site and residential park near Colne is seeking permission to turn all its caravans into permanent homes by removing holiday restrictions.
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Prospect Farm Caravan Site in Lenches Road is asking Pendle Council for planning permission to reconfigure the site and remove holiday restrictions to allow residential occupation.

But concerns have been raised that the Lenches site is near another plot up a hillside which was previously earmarked by house builder Gleeson Homes. There are worries about the area’s appearance, traffic safety and protection of trees.

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If passed by planners, 11 static caravans on the Prospect Farm site could be used for permanent residential accommodation.If passed by planners, 11 static caravans on the Prospect Farm site could be used for permanent residential accommodation.
If passed by planners, 11 static caravans on the Prospect Farm site could be used for permanent residential accommodation.
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A number of residential park homes at the site are currently for sale, according to the Prospect Farm Residential Park website. The homes are being presented as good places to retire with Lancashire attractions such as Pendle Hill, Blackpool and Lancaster highlighted.

In some parts of Lancashire, residential parks or caravan sites are being promoted as affordable and energy-efficient solutions amid rising energy bills and housing costs.

Pendle councillors discussed the Prospect Farm application at the latest full meeting of the borough council.

Planning officers said the plans were acceptable and had advised approval with various conditions including further details needed on lighting and drainage. Lancashire County Council said traffic changes would be minimal, according to a report for the meeting.

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However, some objections have been sent to the borough council. Reasons given included claims that the new Prospect Farm plans do not conform with original planning permission for log cabins in woodland, that the static caravans clash with local character and history, there is no affordable housing and the development is unsustainable.

In the past, planning permission was granted in 2012 for 26 static caravans, of which 15 were for permanent residential accommodation and 11 restricted to holiday use only. The new application is to allow all 26 caravans to be used for permanent residential accommodation.

Lib Dem Coun. David Whipp said: “We had a site visit. The concern is the proximity of a site up the hill which was subject to an application by Gleeson, which was withdrawn. By default, we are getting new homes here. That sits uneasily with people because these proposed new homes are no more sustainable than the site up the hill. There are visibility issues too.”

Conservative councillors Kieran McGladdery and Ash Sutcliffe both agreed and Coun. Sutcliffe said it had been a long-running topic.

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Lib Dem Coun. Dorothy Lord said traffic in the area had become an issue in recent years.

“I used to work at the top of Lenches Road. Then, I would walk up and down the road and there was hardly any traffic. Now it’s all changed. You would not believe the amount of traffic that comes down the road to avoid the main road at evening rush hour times. There are also issues with trees. I would like to see some tree protection orders there. ”

Lib Dem Coun Tom Whipp suggested tree protection orders be added to planning conditions, which was agreed.

Councillors then voted to delegate all the matters to planning officers.