COUNCILLORS are finally set to sign off a controversial disposal of land in Burnley Wood.
Hundreds of residents have opposed plans to hand over the area, bounded by Glebe Street, Kirkgate and Parkinson Street, to housing developer Keepmoat. The long-running saga saw Burnley Wood Youth and Community Group’s Glebe Street HQ demolished last month.
Keepmoat, which has plann-ing permission to build 117 homes on the site, won the right to use the ex-recreation ground for housing in December. But, in January, the final disposal of land was delayed after Liberal Democrats appealed the decision, only for the council to determine that its original decision was legal.
Now the disposal has been recommended for approval by council officers, despite a 465-signature petition objecting to the move. In a report to the council’s executive tonight, council officer Anthony Saulle, says: “The development facilitated by the disposal of the land will make an important contribution to the future of Burnley Wood.
“On balance, the need to progress regeneration of the area, and provide homes to realise aspirations for developing a sustainable community, significantly outweighs the considerations raised in the objections.”
Coun Jeff Sumner, who campaigned for the Glebe Street building to be maintained, said: “It could be the last throw of the dice regarding legalities, but I do believe the council has really scrutinised the details this time. We will talk to Keep-moat about facilities once they take over the land and, as long as there’s still a chance, we’ll keep fighting.”
If the disposal is approved, Burnley’s Lib Dem group is expected to ask Secretary of State Eric Pickles if the decision can be called-in.
But Coun Mark Townsend, Labour deputy leader, said: “It has been a difficult decision to use the land for housing, but I am convinced it is in the best interests of Burnley Wood going forward.”