Controversial plans to build a major housing development near to a poultry farm have been given the go-ahead.
Applicant Clive Rawlinson has been granted outline permission to build dozens of homes on land at Warcock Green Farm off Mount St James in Knuzden and convert a farmhouse and outbuildings.
Residents living near the site submitted 19 letters of objection to Hyndburn council, claiming the scheme would lead to a loss of 63 car parking spaces, visual amenity and heritage and that the development could be affected by odour and noise from a nearby poultry farm.
They also claim that ‘insufficient information’ has been presented to the council to prove that a proposed 100m buffer zone would be ‘effective in counteracting the noise and odour’.
Planning bosses refused a previous application for the site in May last year because of a ‘lack of information’.
However, officers said the scheme is now ‘considered acceptable’ with the exact number of houses ‘still to be agreed’. Potentially up to 84 homes could be built.
Councillors approved the application at a meeting this week subject to conditions, including further noise and odour survey works.
Resident Pamela Brown said the area should be ‘returned to an area of special restraint’ and it was ‘unsustainable development’.
She told the meeting: “In 2012 Hyndburn council viewed this land as not suitable for development. Based on the lack of information this would be seen as a bias towards reaching a decision based solely on housing quotas.”
Former councillor Marlene Haworth called for the residents to be ‘heavily involved and consulted before any concrete plans were brought before the planning committee’.
She said: “If the applicant means business about building houses here I feel it’s his duty to carry out the required range of surveys to put the minds of existing and future residents at rest.
“I share the view of many local people that the information provided about traffic, parking, congestion and the green travel plan does not reflect the reality experienced by existing residents.”
Rachel Graham, a landowner in support of the application, said they would ‘not have an issue’ with further public consultation and there had been no objections from statutory consultees, including Lancashire County Council highways.
She told the meeting that only 20 car parking spaces would be removed, however a car park will be created on the housing development to ‘compensate that loss’.
Planning agent Steven Hartley said they had carried out four different surveys ‘in different climate conditions’ and argued the 100m buffer zone is ‘adequate’.
He said: “I appreciate that not everyone is happy at the idea of the land being developed. That’s always the way. But we do know there’s a need for more houses.”
Coun Judith Addison said the issue of noise and odour is ‘still a big concern’ and feared the council are ‘taking a big risk’.
However, Coun Bernard Dawson said it was only an outline planning application and there is a ‘lot of detail still to be worked on’.
Coun Tim O’Kane added: “I am sympathetic with the residents but I do feel the council have looked into this extensively.”