BURNLEY Council’s controversial decision to designate a recreation park and community centre for housing was legal, a committee has ruled.
Last month’s decision to change the use of the land in Glebe Street was met with an outcry from residents who object to the demolition of the Burnley Wood Youth and Community Group hub.
Coun Jeff Sumner said the people of Burnley Wood were ‘disgusted’.
A special sitting of the resources scrutiny committee met at Burnley Town Hall to discuss whether or not the authority had followed due process in appropriating the land, after the original decision was called-in by Liberal Democrat members.
Councillors voted five to three against referring the decision back to the executive, with one absence.
Last November, developers Keepmoat were granted planning permission to build 117 homes in the area.
Michael Salmon, 69, of Dall Street, said: “I’ve lived there for 46 years and it’s always been a play area for kids, going back generations.
“The area will be poorer for the loss of the community centre. Yes we need new houses, but those kids will need a bigger space to play on.
“I think the councillors are well out-of-order.”
Senior council officers, including chief executive, Steve Rumbelow, and director of regeneration and housing, Mike Cook, spent over an hour addressing questions covering the status of Glebe Street Recreation Ground and the weight given to the project’s 1,984 objections.
They also head from Burnley Wood councillor Tracy Kennedy, who said ‘an injustice’ had been delivered.
But Mr Cook said: “We are very confident in the legal route the council has taken in all of this exercise.
“We have acted perfectly properly and in line with legislation.”
Mum-of-five Vicky Crossley, 34, said: “My kids use Glebe Street every day in the summer. I think the regeneration of Burnley Wood is a great idea but they’re building family homes with nowhere for children to go.”
Coun Sumner added: “People in Burnley Wood are just disgusted, they can’t believe what’s happening.”
The final disposal of the land will be advertised by the council next week, with further objections expected.