THE HISTORIC Spring Hill Working Men’s Club remains empty after Hyndburn councillors knocked back yet another plan to build houses on the site.
The Pickup Street club closed last September following a cash crisis caused by dwindling membership and a severe shortage of funds.
Clarkville Developments Ltd applied to demolish the building and replace it with 10 two and three-storey houses.
However at a planning committee meeting in October, members deferred the application to allow council officers to negotiate with the applicants on the high density of the development. It was hoped a more acceptable scheme would be resubmitted.
The developers subsequently appealed against the council’s failure to determine the proposals within the statutory time period.
Last week, a scheme for nine houses on the site, by the same developers, was discussed at a planning meeting but members decided to stand their ground.
Councillor Lynn Wilson said: “This will be too much of a high density of houses in the area. I think there is a risk the applicant will pursue with the proposals for 10 houses so I suggest that we reject this.”
Councillor Brian Roberts said there were no open spaces in the area and little garden space.
He added: “The people of Hyndburn deserve less density and a better quality of housing. The chance to live and breathe instead of being cramped together in small developments.”
The proposals include four three-storey terraced houses, three two-storey terraced houses and three two-storey detached houses.
Spring Hill Club is believed to be one of the oldest in the borough, first opening its doors in 1902.
County Councillor Miles Parkinson said that the committee was in a difficult situation because of the housing guidelines set out in the borough plan and by the Government.
Chief planning and transportation officer Simon Prideaux said that the plan was in line with council policy and recommended that it be supported.
Councillor Clare Pritchard said that if the council did not refuse this application, they would be opening up the flood gates to developers in the future.
She added: “We are swimming in terraced houses we can’t get rid of and this matter needs addressing. We are drowning in high density shoeboxes and it needs to be dealt with as a matter or urgency.”
Chairman of the committee John Griffiths agreed that the council should make a stand once and for all. He appealed for a more reasonable application.
The committee unanimously objected the plan because of the high density, lack of nearby facilities and green space and it was out of keeping with the local area.