Vil­lage de­mands 500 homes plan an­swers

Rossendale Free Press - - News - CHRIS GEE

ANEW com­mu­nity group is wait­ing on coun­cil chiefs to an­swer ma­jor con­cerns over de­vel­op­ment plans which would trans­form the face of their vil­lage.

Fears were raised af­ter a Lo­cal Plan con­sul­ta­tion un­der­taken by Rossendale coun­cil last au­tumn iden­ti­fied sites for nearly 500 new houses in Eden­field, rep­re­sent­ing an ex­pan­sion of over 50 per cent on its cur­rent hous­ing stock.

The Eden­field Com­mu­nity Neighbourhood Fo­rum was cre­ated ear­lier this year fol­low­ing an out­cry against the pro­pos­als.

Mem­ber Paul Brad­burn said 800 vil­lagers had ob­jected to the Lo­cal Plan, the equiv­a­lent of around 30 per cent of to­tal re­sponses from just three per cent of the bor­ough’s pop­u­la­tion.

He said: “Ac­cord­ing to our un­der­stand­ing of the plan­ning guide­lines, coun- cils should only take land out of the green belt in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances.

“We can ex­pect up to 1,000 ex­tra cars on our al­ready crowded streets, our lovely vil­lage changed out of all recog­ni­tion, the near cer­tainty of the nui­sance of a set of traf­fic lights on Mar­ket Street, and of course up to 20 years of build­ing work.

“Eden­field has just over 900 houses to­day, it has taken sev­eral hun­dred years to reach this to­tal but the coun­cil now pro­poses that this fig­ure should in­crease to about 1,400 over the 15 years from 2019.”

The fo­rum has writ­ten to Rossendale coun­cil with a se­ries of con­cerns and is await­ing a re­ply.

The cur­rent Lo­cal Plan, set to be sub­mit­ted to gov­ern­ment by next Jan­uary, con­cludes that 3,975 new homes will need be built in Rossendale by 2034.

In March we re­ported that sur­vey­ors com­mis­sioned by the coun­cil as part of the scheme iden­ti­fied sev­eral road junc­tions in Rawten­stall, Eden­field, Water­foot and Hasling­den which will re­quire meas- ures such as ex­tra lanes and mini round­abouts af­ter 2024.

Rossendale coun­cil said they will be pub­lish­ing a high­way ca­pac­ity study and sus­tain­abil­ity ap­praisal as soon as they are com­pleted.

A spokesman said: “The coun­cil are work­ing on re­sponses to all of the com­ments made but we have not put to­gether our re­sponses as it all re­lates to the over­all con­sid­er­a­tion of hous­ing in Eden­field which is still un­der con­sid­er­a­tion.

“We are very aware of the im­pacts on the vil­lage and res­i­dents con­cerned and recog­nise that it would also have in­fra­struc­ture im­pacts and have been in dis­cus­sions with the var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture providers about this.”

Paul Brad­burn, of the Eden­field Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (left) with Ian Lord, chair­man of the Eden­field Com­mu­nity Neighbourhood Fo­rum, at the site of the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment off Mar­ket Street in Eden­field

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