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Pendle councillor campaigns for 'green lung' nature reserve
LAND described as the ‘green lung’ between Nelson and Colne will be turned into a nature reserve if a politician gets his wish.
Pendle county councillor Azhar Ali has long campaigned for the land, which is owned by Pendle Council, to be protected from possible housing development.
He has previously proposed that the land be transferred to the Friends of Gib Hill to be run as a community land trust.
But this was rejected by Pendle Council, which has considered selling the land for housing. But now Coun Ali has the support of Lancashire County Council, which has offered to provide senior officer support to transform the land into a nature reserve.
He said: “This puts Pendle Council in a corner really.
“All they have to do is agree to this and Lancashire County Council will do the work to protect the land for future generations.
“But if they don’t do it then it shows what their intentions for the land really are.”
Coun Ali has written to Pendle Council chief executive Stephen Barnes proposing that the council gives LCC ‘written permission’ to start work on the nature reserve. He said: “Pendle Council has always said that they didn’t have the money or the officers to do this, but this is ideal now with Lancashire County Council looking after it.
“There is strong support in the community for the enhancement of this rich countryside asset for nature conservation and public enjoyment purposes.”
Coun Ali said that Mr Barnes would show his letter to Pendle councillors, who would discuss what to do with the land.
A Pendle Council spokesman confirmed that the matter would be discussed by borough councillors before a decision was made.
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