A LAST-ditch bid by Whalley Road residents to block the redevelopment of two Regency period cottages – including the former Lamb Inn – into bedsits has fallen on deaf ears.
Planning Committee members gave the nod to developer Mr Steven Chippendale’s proposals to divide the inn, derelict for over a year, and another two-bedroom terrace into six one-bedroom flats.
This was despite a 30-signature strong petition against the proposals, as well as vehement opposition from some planning councillors, especially over a shortage of parking in the area.
The properties will be divided into three separate units of two apartments, with front and rear access to both ground floor and first floor apartments and five parking spaces at the rear.
In a letter sent to the committee Clayton councillor Nick Collingridge described the plans as “lunacy”.
He wrote: “We’ve already seen in developments in Clayton that add little or no value to the town. Whalley Road is one of – if not the most – polluted and congested highways in Hyndburn. To start putting bedsits in the middle of the terrace is totally wrong.”
Councillor Marlene Haworth said: “I cannot believe we’re going to contemplate putting six bedsits in a road with 200-year-old houses. It’s like putting an abattoir in the middle of a chocolate factory.”
Tim O’Kane, speaking on behalf of resident Mr Duncan Howard, added concerns over littering, anti-social behaviour, and overlooking of his property from rear balconies.
And another resident Mr Phil Barr said: “The parking for five cars at the rear will cause chaos.”
But Mr Chippendale’s agent told the committee the redevelopment would lead to a “dramatic improvement” in the appearance of the property, which was recently boarded up following an attempted break-in.
She said: “We are restoring the appearance of the property back to the former cottage appearance that it would have had.”
She added that concerns among some residents that the flats would be occupied by the “workshy” and people living on handouts were inaccurate, adding they would be selling at around the £100,000 mark.
And Councillor Bernard Dawson pointed out: “What sort of people might be living there is nothing to do with planning. If it’s done tastefully then I cannot see why it should be unacceptable.”
Councillor Brian Roberts added: “It’s vital that disused buildings are redeveloped. We have far too many now, particularly with the smoking ban and other impositions that are on put on public houses these days.”