Plans to turn a former allotment site into a caravan park have been narrowly approved.
Five static ‘lodge type’ caravans and five smaller mobile homes will be installed off Milton Street in Oswaldtwistle, near Foxhill Bank Nature Reserve.
Fifteen objections were submitted to Hyndburn council, but councillors approved applicant Anthony Kelbie’s scheme at a planning meeting this week by five votes to three with one abstention.
Concerns were raised around issues including house prices, highways safety, drainage, and impact on the nature reserve, with Lancashire Wildlife Trust lodging objections.
Chris Knight, speaking on behalf of a Milton Street resident, said the caravans and materials would ‘look out of place in the area’ and he was ‘not sure that the road infrastructure could cope with the increased traffic’.
Martin Glover, a council planning officer, said: “The applicant has stressed that the proposed development is not a gypsy or traveller site and this is supported by the fact that, although the applicant has a traveller background, he and his family have lived in a permanent basis at a house off Heys Lane for 19 years.”
Oswaldtwistle councillor Stewart Eaves said: “I have real concerns about this development, purely because of its visual impact. The main access road is Harvey Street and it is difficult to get in or out at the best of times.”
Coun Tim O’Kane said there were no planning grounds to refuse the application.
He said: “One of the things we have to be wary of is committing the council to an impossible legal position to defend. I understand the concerns but there are a number of things in the objections that are nothing to do with planning law. We can’t take into consideration the affect on the value of houses or insurance premiums. It’s not within our remit.”