Proposed Colne bypass causes 'heartbreak' for family

A FAMILY fear their luxury home could be bulldozed to make way for a new bypass - 35 years after experiencing the same 'heartbreak'.

The ‘brown’ route for the proposed Colne bypass cuts through Stephen and Rachel Boothman’s Grade Two listed bed and breakfast business at Blakey Hall Farm, in Red Lane, Colne.

It is an ‘unbelievable’ case of lightning striking twice for the family after Stephen’s family run farm, Low House Farm, in Silsden, was knocked down to make way for the Aire Valley Trunk Road in 1978.

Now Stephen, 59, Rachel, 54, and their children Lucy 24, and Ben, 22, are facing an anxious wait to discover if the businesses they have invested ‘everything’ in will be forced to close.

Rachel said: “We have spent more than 30 years building this business up. We have clung on with our fingernails at times, and now it could all be snatched away from us. What do we do? Where do we go? It’s heartbreaking.

“We have put our pensions and all the money we have in to building this business up, yet they think they can just take it all away from us.”

The 14th Century building, which is set in 100 acres of scenic Pendle countryside, has been owned by the Boothman family for around 30 years.

They moved to East Lancashire after Stephen was forced to move when his Silsden farm was the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order.

“It’s unbelievable that lightning could strike twice,” said Rachel.

“My husband lost his family run farm in 1978 when the Aire Valley Trunk Road was built.

“It nearly tore them apart. It was devastating, you wouldn’t think it was possible for the same thing to happen again.

“The farm was the subject of a Compulsory Purchase Order but the compensation was awful, so he has experience of this. I just don’t know what we are supposed to do if it happens again.

“It’s going to drag on now before we hear anything. We can’t plan for the future, we can’t expand, we can’t invest because we don’t know what the future holds.

“When we did work on the B&B we had several strict conditions, such as not having windows overlooking the canal, yet now it could be demolished to make way for a road, it doesn’t make sense.

“These plans are going to kill tourism. We are surrounded by beautiful countryside and they want to build a road straight through it. I know something needs doing about the North Valley traffic, but it shouldn’t have to affect us.”

Rachel said the family were angry that Lancashire County Council had not notified them about the plans and they only found out they could lose their home through press reports.

Marcus Hudson, head of planning for Lancashire County Council, said: “We're at the very earliest stages of looking at whether and how to move forward with the longstanding proposal for a bypass and I hope people will be reassured that the options shown in the transport masterplan are only indicative.

“Any new transport infrastructure on this scale will affect people across a very wide area in different ways and we simply haven't got the level of detail to consult with individual residents and businesses in a meaningful way at this stage.

“We've only just begun to review the responses to the consultation but if the decision is made to move forward with the proposals in the plan, much more work will be needed before we can put forward detailed route options and we'll carry out more specific consultation as appropriate at every stage.”

Comments (3)

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9:40am Sat 14 Dec 13

jenkinsroy says...

Rachel MAKE A LOT OF NOISE TO MR Marcus Hudson
AND ASK HIM TO TELL YOU THE PERSON HOW SAID
YOUR HOME MUST COME DOWN FOR THE ROAD
IF HE WILL NOT TELL YOU.
YOU MUST GO TO YOUR M.P. AND START TO MAKE A NOISE
ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE UP TO YOU DO HAVE RIGHTS DO NOT
LET THEM WALK ALL OVER YOU .
TURN UP AT MEETING THEY ARE HOLDING ABOUT THE ROAD
SO THEY WILL KNOW YOU WILL NOT GIVE IN WITHOUT
KICKING AND FIGHTING FOR YOUR HOME.
AFTER ALL WE DO NOT NEED THIS ROAD .
I THINK IT IS GETTING BUILT BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL
MAKE MONEY ON IT AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THERE PLANES TILL THE LAST MINUTE
WHERE YOU CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT
GOOD LOOK TO YOU ALL
Rachel MAKE A LOT OF NOISE TO MR Marcus Hudson AND ASK HIM TO TELL YOU THE PERSON HOW SAID YOUR HOME MUST COME DOWN FOR THE ROAD IF HE WILL NOT TELL YOU. YOU MUST GO TO YOUR M.P. AND START TO MAKE A NOISE ABOUT WHAT THEY ARE UP TO YOU DO HAVE RIGHTS DO NOT LET THEM WALK ALL OVER YOU . TURN UP AT MEETING THEY ARE HOLDING ABOUT THE ROAD SO THEY WILL KNOW YOU WILL NOT GIVE IN WITHOUT KICKING AND FIGHTING FOR YOUR HOME. AFTER ALL WE DO NOT NEED THIS ROAD . I THINK IT IS GETTING BUILT BECAUSE SOMEONE WILL MAKE MONEY ON IT AND THAT IS WHY YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THERE PLANES TILL THE LAST MINUTE WHERE YOU CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT GOOD LOOK TO YOU ALL jenkinsroy

10:48am Mon 16 Dec 13

David Richardson says...

Building a bypass is important for Colne and the surrounding area BUT it is important that the right route is found.

Looking at the current proposals the drawings are not accurate at all.... All we have seen is a thick pen line drawn on a map... This line could be as wide as 500 meters!

This is not helpful one bit.... In fact the whole consultation has been a sham! Lancashire County Council have really messed it up. I only even heard about it from the MP writing to let us know a consultation had opened up! Why have LCC been so quiet??
Building a bypass is important for Colne and the surrounding area BUT it is important that the right route is found. Looking at the current proposals the drawings are not accurate at all.... All we have seen is a thick pen line drawn on a map... This line could be as wide as 500 meters! This is not helpful one bit.... In fact the whole consultation has been a sham! Lancashire County Council have really messed it up. I only even heard about it from the MP writing to let us know a consultation had opened up! Why have LCC been so quiet?? David Richardson

3:37pm Tue 17 Dec 13

It's a spade! says...

It's a complete con.

The scale of this proposed bypass is totally out of proportion to the "problem."

The questions that need answering are;

1) How much will this really cost by the time it gets built?
2) Will that cost be worth alleviating the 5 minute delay through Colne?
3) Why is an urban problem being given a countryside solution with a massive road ploughed through beautiful countryside?
4) Why was planning permission given to Boundary Mill to effectively "block" the end of the M65?
5) Where are the traffic figures to support this bypass?
6) If there is an economic need why will there have to be new "employment" areas built at each end?
7) Who owns some of this land or land in the vicinty?
8) Why has there been no stucy to assess the viabilty of re-opening the Colne Skipton railway and its affect on traffic reduction?
9) Why has there been no urban solution proposed including the use of smart traffic lights, or widening of North Valley Way?
10) Why has it not been made clear that this is a road to nowhere as North Yorkshire CC will not commit to widening or improving any roads on their side of the border?
11) How can LCC, PBC and the MP guarantee that they will not simply just be moving a problem 3 miles up the road?
12) Why have certain Councillors stated that the real reason for this is to "open up" West Craven. Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick want it and are apparently threatening not to further invest in the site unless they get it.
13) How can the building of new "employment" sites and housing on green belt land be needed when the employment site in Barrowford that has been under development for years has stopped building new units due to lack of demand? There is also spare capacity on Lomeshaye!
14) Why do councils tell us we all need wind turbines to save the world and then also allow more roads to be built? Which is it?
15) Why is there no "route" proposed to link up with the Aire Valley link road?
It's a complete con. The scale of this proposed bypass is totally out of proportion to the "problem." The questions that need answering are; 1) How much will this really cost by the time it gets built? 2) Will that cost be worth alleviating the 5 minute delay through Colne? 3) Why is an urban problem being given a countryside solution with a massive road ploughed through beautiful countryside? 4) Why was planning permission given to Boundary Mill to effectively "block" the end of the M65? 5) Where are the traffic figures to support this bypass? 6) If there is an economic need why will there have to be new "employment" areas built at each end? 7) Who owns some of this land or land in the vicinty? 8) Why has there been no stucy to assess the viabilty of re-opening the Colne Skipton railway and its affect on traffic reduction? 9) Why has there been no urban solution proposed including the use of smart traffic lights, or widening of North Valley Way? 10) Why has it not been made clear that this is a road to nowhere as North Yorkshire CC will not commit to widening or improving any roads on their side of the border? 11) How can LCC, PBC and the MP guarantee that they will not simply just be moving a problem 3 miles up the road? 12) Why have certain Councillors stated that the real reason for this is to "open up" West Craven. Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick want it and are apparently threatening not to further invest in the site unless they get it. 13) How can the building of new "employment" sites and housing on green belt land be needed when the employment site in Barrowford that has been under development for years has stopped building new units due to lack of demand? There is also spare capacity on Lomeshaye! 14) Why do councils tell us we all need wind turbines to save the world and then also allow more roads to be built? Which is it? 15) Why is there no "route" proposed to link up with the Aire Valley link road? It's a spade!

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