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Protest group fights 4,000 new homes plan for Blackburn
A RESIDENTS’ group has been set up to protest against plans to build 4,000 executive-style homes on greenfield sites.
Blackburn and Darwen Council has earmarked 1,200 acres of countryside on the outskirts of the towns as being suitable for larger luxury properties over the next five years in a major switch of housing policy.
They are reacting to the easing of government policy on protecting ‘green belt’ land and a desire to keep wealthy households within the borough as attempts to kick-start the local economy gather pace.
The 10 sites, including five on the borders of the rural Ribble Valley, which is currently swamped with applications for housing developments, and five around Darwen, cover 1,198 acres of which 593 are ‘green belt’.
A meeting was held at Pleckgate High School on Monday night where more than 100 people against the proposals made their views known to planning officers.
Following the meeting a group was established to fight the proposals by people who said there was no demand for housing in the borough and that plans would devalue houses that were near the proposed sites.
Group spokesman Phil Hughes, a retired company director, said: “There are currently over 500 empty houses in Blackburn and 379 four bedroom houses that are for sale. There is no demand for the housing at all.
“I think whoever made the projection that these houses are needed must also believe in fairies. Not only that but having it earmarked for development now casts a shadow over the area for the next 15 years.”
The next meeting about the plans is a drop in session from 3.30pm to 7.30pm at Greenfield Community Centre on Friday.
Anyone who wishes to join the group can do so by e-mailing Phil on blackburnanddarwenfriends@ outlook.com.
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