HUNDREDS of residents are opposing council plans to redesignate areas of countryside in the Valley to make way for housing developments.

A petition has been signed by more that 800 people objecting to proposals to remove land in Townsend Fold in Rawtenstall from the green belt, and even more individual comments were sent to the council regarding similar plans for Kirkhill Rise and Moorland Avenue, in Haslingden.

Comments were submitted by 204 residents and organisations that took part in a consultation by the council about proposals for 130 areas.

Many people highlighted issues with access, flooding, loss of recreational space and impact on the landscape.

Following the consultation, planners will continue to pursue boundary changes to the top of Goodshawfold Lane and the former Snow King site in Grane Road, Helmshore.

The council is to drop proposed changes to Johnny Barn Close, Higher Cloughfold, land at the Burnley Road/ Blackburn Road junction in Edenfield, and Eden Lane, unless a developer can demonstrate that the impacts can be resolved.

Changes to Dearden Clough, in Edenfield, will not be pursued because of highway and land stability issues.

The council is to consider the findings of the consultation at a council meeting at Bacup Futures Park on Wednesday at 6.30pm.

Peter Wood, of the Friends of Townsendfold, said: “People need to be aware that this is going to be decided by the council. When they did their consultation, they did the minimum legal requirements, and there are a lot of people in Rossendale who are not aware that the fields behind their houses could become housing developments.”

A report said: “While inclusion within the Urban Boundary does not necessarily mean that land will be developed, it will be necessary to find a supply of suitable sites for housing, employment and other land uses.

“The challenge is to find suitable locations but still respect environmental constraints and the characteristics that make Rossendale an attractive place to live.”