De­ci­sion de­ferred on homes plan be­set by in­creased flood­ing fears

Rossendale Free Press - - The Rossendale Scribbler -

A DE­CI­SION on a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posal to build homes on a flood­ing hotspot has been de­ferred after no de­ci­sion was reached.

Hurst­wood Hold­ings had ap­plied to Rossendale coun­cil for out­line plan­ning per­mis­sion to build 30 homes on Johnny Barn Close, Higher Clough­fold.

A to­tal of 104 let­ters of ob­jec­tion were re­ceived, many cit­ing fears that more houses would in­crease the flood risk in the area, which has been badly hit by past storms.

Plan­ning of­fi­cers had rec­om­mended the plan for ap­proval, but at a meet­ing of Rossendale’s de­vel­op­ment con­trol com­mit­tee this week, mem­bers were split on the pro­posal, and in­stead voted to de­fer a de­ci­sion un­til the next meet­ing.

Speak­ing for the ap­pli­ca­tion, agent Michael Gil­bert said: “There is a se­ri­ous and sig­nif­i­cant need for more hous­ing to be ap­proved in Rossendale. The plan is suit­able and de­liv­er­able for up to 30 dwellings.

“Fail­ure to ap­prove this ap­pli­ca­tion will work against and un­der­mines the lo­cal plan. It will re­duce the flood­ing if not deal with it al­to­gether.”

Speak­ing against the ap­pli­ca­tion at the meet­ing on be­half of the Johnny Barn Cot­tages Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion, Keith Gir­ling said: “The ap­pli­cant and plan­ning man­ager are in de­nial as to the cat­a­strophic ef­fect of flood wa­ter from that site.”

Plan­ning man­ager Ni­cola Hop­kins said: “The scheme is con­sid­ered to be ac­cept­able.”

Com­mit­tee mem­ber Coun Jimmy Ea­ton said: “I would move that we de­fer this ap­pli­ca­tion un­til we get fur­ther in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing flood­ing risk, and peace of mind that they have gone down all chan­nels to re­solve the prob­lem.”

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