THE decision to approve more than 500 homes for a Ribble Valley village will not be contested, the borough council confirmed yesterday.

In February plans for 504 homes for Barrow were approved by the government after being fought at an appeal last year.

Following the approval the borough council asked a barrister to review the secretary of state's decision and was asked to advise on the likelihood of a successful challenge in the High Court under Section 288 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1980.

However the council was told that an appeal ‘would have little chance of success’ and has decided not to contest the decision.

The controversial approval sparked anger from the Barrow Residents Action Group, with residents calling for council chiefs to resign over the decision.

Council leader Coun Stuart Hirst said: “I am extremely disappointed that the legal advice we have now received leaves us with no credible legal basis on which to challenge the inspector's conclusions. A judicial basis to a challenge was inevitably going to present serious difficulties but I feel we were correct to formally explore this option. We must, however, regrettably now accept the clear professional advice given.

“We remain nonetheless highly dissatisfied with the decision in terms of its impact on the borough and I intend to make our views known at the highest ministerial level.