Neighbours draw up battle lines at public meeting against plans to build new homes on ' natural beauty spot' in Padiham

A public meeting, to discuss a controversial plan to build homes on an area of land considered to be 'one of the most beautiful and natural' areas of a town, was attended by around 60 people last night.

Residents have even chipped in to pay for a planning consultant to put a document together listing all their objections to the application to build six detached bungalows in Padiham.

A former Mayor of Padiham Coun. Andy Tatchell, who was at the meeting held at Padiham Cricket Club, said residents from across the town were against the plan for the patch of land, known as Craggs Farm, and wanted to present a watertight case against it.

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He said: "The grounds for objecting to this scheme have be based on planning grounds so that is why we have employed a professional planning consultant."

Residents are preparing to fight against plans to build six detached bungalows on Craggs Farm in Padiham, considered to be an area of natural beauty.

The application was made just two months after the site was cleared, 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 even deer in the summer months.

Concerns were raised about what would happen to the site in Vicarage Avenue at the time so the new planning application came as a blow to residents.

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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.

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Several neighbours living close to the site, who rent their gardens from Huntroyde Estates, are worried how this will affect them as the leases are on a short term basis.

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

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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.