RESIDENTS fear that an extension to Pendle’s largest industrial estate will prove to be a traffic nightmare for nearby villagers.

Council bosses are recommending, as part of their Local Plan consultation, that Lomeshaye is extended to provide the borough’s employment land quota over the next few years.

But hundreds packed out a public meeting in Fence after concerns were expressed about the impact if a prospective access road is created to the A6068 bypass between Cuckstool Lane and Carr Hall Road.

Villager Jackie Commons said: “It will bring a lot of industrial traffic to Fence and Wheatley Lane Road and I don’t think people realise the effect it is going to have. It seems to me that is far easier to go and develop a new field than it is to pull down old buildings and redevelop brownfield land.”

And it is feared that the development would leave people in Fence and Barrowford sandwiched between the industrial expansion and Pendle’s next large housing estate.

Land at Trough Laithe Farm, off Wheatley Lane Road, has been identified as having the greatest potential for housing redevelopment.

Coun John David, who represents Old Laund Booth, is a staunch opponent of the Lomeshaye expansion and has spoken out against it.

He told a council meeting: “We should be reusing land so we are not gobbling up the greenbelt. And we can do that if we redevelop brownfield land.”

Coun David has argued that there are enough old factory and mill sites, scattered across the borough, to meet their employment land needs for the forseeable future.

Villagers have until March 24 to make their views known on the Local Plan as part of a six-week consultation process.