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Concerns grow over possible housing developments in Colne
7:00pm Thursday 12th December 2013 in Pendle
CONCERNS are growing that an area of green land in Colne is being targeted for housing by developers.
Residents living near a patch of land known as the ‘Rough’, in the Lidgett area off Skipton Old Road, have reported ‘intense’ activity by surveyors and traffic consultants over the past two weeks.
The activity has sparked fears from councillors and campaign groups that an application for housing on the land, which is popular amongst locals for dog walking, rambling and recreation, could soon be submitted.
Owen Oliver, chairman of the Lidgett and Beyond community group, said: “We are very worried. We have received over 30 emails from members in the space of three days and we have held an emergency meeting.
“Of particular concern is that Pendle’s Local Development Framework (LDF) will not be adopted until at least next summer, leaving us vulnerable to stealthy developers.”
Town councillor Jim Kerrigan, who represents the Horsfield ward, said: “Pendle Council is in the last stages of putting together a Core Strategy for its Local Plan.
“It will then have to decide which land to allocate to housing and industry and which to leave as farmland.
“It would be a disgrace if landowners and developers try to pre-empt these democratic local decisions.”
Alison Birkinshaw, a local resident and former principal of Nelson and Colne College, said: “Lidgett & Beyond has a healthy membership and a modest fighting fund, but it is clear we need to marshal our forces now.
“Anyone wanting to join should contact firstname.lastname@example.org. What most people don’t realise is that developers throw huge sums of money to develop profitable green sites like this and they only have to win once and the land is gone forever.
“The developer can appeal and appeal, but community groups like ours must win every single time on robust planning grounds and we have no right of appeal. The balance of power definitely lies with the developer, not the community that will be despoiled.”
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