Village demands 500 homes plan answers
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