Rossendale Free Press



WITH reference to Jackie Oakes’ letter “I Expected Better” of December 3, I expected better of a committee to whom we, the community seem to be invisible.

Many of us wanted to attend the Developmen­t Control Committee meeting regarding building on Rossendale’s most valuable piece of land, a carbon and water sink as well as home and valuable breeding ground for many vulnerable species, but we were told that we could not attend - and yet the minutes stated that 10 members of the public were present.

The meeting, which was over too quickly, gave no assurances that this had been a well researched and carefully thought out decision but, to the contrary, it felt very much like a foregone conclusion.

Despite a stack of official documents attached to this applicatio­n pointing out the very many negatives, none of these were referred to and one wonders if councillor­s had even seen them.

Similarly the many written letters of objection and the 3,800 petition signatures with comments were only mentioned by Cllr Alan Woods in his five-minute speech and at no point discussed or referred to by the

Planning Control Committee.

Jackie Oakes did comment dismissive­ly that there had been a lot of objection to the

Airtours proposal, I suppose to illustrate how objections are of little consequenc­e.

Although the Airtours project was not on greenfield land, was not on a carbon and water sink and NOT at the most CRITICAL point in our climate crisis.

If councillor­s were taking the climate crisis seriously they would be taking official recommenda­tions to renovate rather than build, for the climate’s sake.

In support of the applicatio­n Jackie Oakes also stated that people don’t want terraced houses, they want a BIT OF A GARDEN.

Thus if we are talking about being OFFENSIVE, offending about half of Rossendale residents in one foul swoop, Rossendale’s terraced houses are some of the prettiest and quirkiest in Lancashire in my opinion.

I think it would have been perfectly responsibl­e to risk a mere £150,000 to oppose this applicatio­n in light of the fact that we have been given a million pounds with which to fight climate change and this applicatio­n, if realised, will be the worst thing that could happen in terms of climate damage.

No amount of effort on behalf of Rossendale residents could make up for the damage that the disturbanc­e of this land will cause.

The best solution might be to give Taylor Wimpey the million pounds which we have been given to fight the climate crisis and ask then to leave us alone and guess what, we will then have a 12-acre piece of invaluable peat based bog which absorbs more carbon than all the trees in Rossendale could possibly ever do, with which to fight the climate crisis.

Marie-Louise Charlton Holcombe Road, Helmshore

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