Concerns have been raised over the future of Hyndburn’s green belt after council bosses confirmed thousands of new homes will have to be built in the borough by the end of the next decade.
Up to 6,300 new homes will need to be built by 2029 in order to meet government targets, according to a strategic housing market assessment and housing needs study commissioned for Hyndburn council.
A consultation is set to be launched by the council inviting landowners and members of the public to put forward potential sites for consideration.
Council leader Miles Parkinson said they want to keep development ‘within the urban boundary’ but could face green belt challenges from housing developers if those sites do not materialise.
Speaking at a cabinet meeting last week he said: “This is due to the government wanting to see more housing development because of the shortage of housing nationally.
"My wish is that housing development is kept within the urban boundary if at all possible utilising our brownfield sites as well.
"A lot have outline planning permission but it’s about viability.
"The original housing numbers were looking at 180 or below but that has now been redrawn to somewhere between 180 and 350 per annum.”
Coun Parkinson said there are large brownfield sites potentially available in the borough, including the Woodnook Mill site in Huncoat which could accommodate around 500 homes.
He added: “We do need to get to these figures, otherwise we may have problems like in the Ribble Valley where developers are taking them to task.
"We need to find those locations if we don’t want to go into green belt.
"The bonus if we achieve the target is extra council tax and the new homes bonus, if that policy is still in place.”
Conservative councillor Brian Roberts urged the council to consider ‘reserve’ pieces of land.