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East Lancashire's threatened toad safe after pond U-turn
PLANS to build a car park on a pond which is home to an under-threat species of toad have been scrapped after developers heard residents’ concerns.
Holden Vale Mill Pond, in Kingsway, Haslingden, qualifies for protected status after an aquatic survey in May discovered the presence of the common toad, a UK Priority Species.
Refrigeration company Solomon Commercials wanted to fill in the pond to create 50 new spaces for its fleet of vehicles.
It has now withdrawn its planning application after talks with neighbours of the site, who feared the project would result in increased traffic and noise problems.
The firm has pledged to look elsewhere to build the car park, but may revisit the application if an alternative cannot be found.
John Atherton, who lives in nearby Grange Park Way, said the firm did not realise just how much of an impact it would have on households in the area.
He attended a meeting with Solomon’s managing directors, Michael and Mark Solomon, along with County Coun Peter Evans, and Mayor of Rossendale, Coun Brian Essex.
Mr Atherton said: “Solomon’s have been extremely professional through-out all this. They have said they will consider two other sites for their car park.
“They have also said they will look at putting measures in place to prevent the current traffic problems.
“The pond was really the final straw in a drawn-out process. It has been an awkward 18 months. As a group of residents, we are very pleased with this conclusion.
“We are glad we were able to work with the company, and not against them.
“Mark, in particular, has been very understanding of our concerns.
“We appreciate the importance of good neighbours and the jobs the bus-iness provides.”
A fence erected around the perimeter of the water, also known as Swinnel Brook Pond, will remain to prevent accidents.
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