BOSSES at a boatyard near the Leeds and Liverpool Canal have said new housing developments are ‘necessary’ if the business is to survive.

Two homes will be built at the boatyard in Simpson Street, Hapton, after Burnley Council granted planning permission.

And plans for seven more dwellings are under consideration as the recession-hit boatyard fights for survival.

The west side of the 540 square metre site, near Eastwood Mill, already has permission for four homes to be built, dating back to 2011.The boatyard acts as a mooring for barges and has some storage containers rented out.

A planning statement on behalf of the site’s owner, Christine Ashworth, said: “The current economic downturn and competition from Barden Marina has affected the business and its profitability.”

A spokesman for the boatyard said: “Since the recession there has been very little work for the yard and the sale of part of the site seems the most appropriate way of keeping the boatyard going.”

Recommending approval of the two split-level, two-bedroom bungalows, Burnley Council’s planning department said: “The applicant is seeking to retain the boatyard long-term, albeit in reduced form.

“Due to the sloping nature of this area of the site, this area is mainly used for the storage of vehicles, which could be done on other areas of the site without further impact on neighbouring uses.

“The proposed dwellings complete an existing row of properties and as such there is no objection in principle to this loss of a portion of the boatyard.”