A couple have been stunned after council bosses turned down a home extension they say they need to look after their disabled son.
Heather and Stuart Barnes want to expand Altham Hall Cottage to make a new family home with their two sons Sam, 10, and Jack, seven, who has special needs.
When Jack was born he was diagnosed with a severe bowel condition, kidney problems and a hole in the heart, and he has the mental age of a toddler.
The family currently live on Altham Lane, on Burnley Road, Altham, but they also own the cottage, one of four dwellings at Altham Hall Farm.
Jack’s parents fear it is becoming unsafe for him to live on the busy main road as he grows older. The cottage is in a safer location, but is currently too small for their needs.
Heather, 40, explained: "We’ve lived here for 11 years and are quite happy where we live and it would break my heart to leave it, but I’ve got to think of his safety.
"The industrial estate is getting bigger and busier every year and as Jack has got older he keeps escaping to get to the farm.
"We live right on the corner of Burnley Road so we have also got all the wagons going up Altham Way passing our doorstep.
"On a couple of occasions we’ve had strangers who have found him on the roundabout. He has no fear and doesn’t know the danger he is in."
The proposed new development provides for a replacement kitchen for surveillance, two additional bedrooms, an en-suite and a wet room, a second lounge, a utility room and a tack room.
Officers say it would involve a 135 per cent increase in the volume of the building, compared to the usual 35 per cent Green Belt limit.
Heather said: "He has bowel difficulties and we need extra washrooms for him and I want my other boy to be put at the other end of the house so he is not disturbed. It's still a big extension but we have got to look to the future because he may live with us for the rest of his life.
"Everybody in the village is in support and we will carry on fighting this. We're moving across to that cottage come what may, but it's only small.
"I think the council should listen to people’s circumstances, especially when it’s for children.
"If it was developing for the sake of developing we could understand them refusing it, but it's for safety reasons."
An earlier application was refused outright under officer delegated powers, and a second proposal will go to the Planning Committee next Wednesday (September 15).
But it is again recommended for refusal, on the grounds that there are ‘insufficient special circumstances’ to justify an exception to Green Belt protection.
The refusal also states that the development would spoil the surrounding Conservation Area, but no objections have been raised.
The family are also angry that they were told their land could be compulsorily purchased, when plans were afoot for a moneyspinning super racecourse complex at Simonstone.