A PROPOSED new 200,000sqft warehouse from a prominent business in the area has been given the greenlight by planning bosses.

Hyndburn Council planning committee unanimously approved plans from What More UK (Wham) to build the new site alongside their existing base in Altham Business Park.

Part of the plans encroach on Green Belt land, but planning bosses said despite the departure from Hyndburn’s Development Plan, the applicant has demonstrated plans should be approved under ‘very special circumstances’.

Council leader Cllr Miles Parkinson spoke at the meeting in favour of the development and praised what it would bring to the area.

He said: "I'm pleased we've got businesses coming forward and investing consciously in the borough and creating employment.

"I welcome this application, as ward councillor for the area and council leader, showing that Hyndburn is open for business."

Wham is one of the largest employers in East Lancashire, employing approximately 250 people with an annual turnover of £45m last year.

The company is the UK’s largest manufactures a range of plastic products and bake ware for use in and around the home and exports to 71 companies.

The business currently operates from three units at Altham Business Park but has needed to rent an additional commercial storage unit located within the Junction 7 Business Park, costing £80,000 per annum.

The new building would be 12m tall, measure 110m x 170m, include an office approximately 5000sqft and feature more than 100 parking spaces.

Members of the planning committee agreed it was good news to see the commitment from business in the area.

Cllr Judith Addison said: "Wham are an extremely successful company in the area.

"The good that they are doing in the borough outweighs taking a little bit of Green Belt land."

Cllr Stewart Eaves said: "We re talking about major investment, that's what's good for the area.

"It's keeping them within the borough."

Cllr Tim O'Kane said: "I'm a big believer in protecting Green Belt land and one of the best ways we can protect it is making sure one of our main employers does not need to relocate.

"This is them extending their site and showing commitment to their own workers."

All 12 councillors voted in favour of the plans, which could yet be called in by the Secretary of State.