A CONTROVERSIAL housing development in Waterfoot has been officially opened by nine-year-old Emily Coong.

She was the guest of honour as Waterfoot’s Whitewell Court was officially opened.


The Waterfoot Primary School pupil assisted Mayor of Rossendale Thomas Aldred in opening the 12-apartment development on Burnley Road East, on the former Mytholme House site.

The former sheltered accommodation complex had been empty for more than five years as it was deemed unsuitable for modern needs.

It had become a magnet for vandalism and petty crime, with nearby residents and businesses calling for its demolition.

Residents, backed by Whitewell councillor Jim Pilling, opposed the new scheme claiming it would harm the listed Victoria Parade and involve the unnecessary loss of trees and open space in the heart of Waterfoot.

Rossendale Civic Trust has also expressed concerns, focusing on the ‘cheap’ facing materials proposed and concerns over the size of the units.

Nearby residents had also expressed concerns over parking and traffic when the development was first proposed.

Lancashire Telegraph:

OPENING DAY: Nine-year-old Emily Coong declares the homes scheme open at a civic ceremony                   

Emily won a competition, run by the Rossendale Together Barnfield partnership which developed the site, to design a logo for new the development which was unveiled at the opening ceremony.

Whitewell Court will accommodate residents over-55 and is the first development completed by the partnership.

Together Housing Group Director of Strategy Ian Clark said: “We’ve worked closely with the people of Waterfoot to try the best solution for the dilapidated site.

“The old site was an eyesore but this new development will provide a huge boost to the town both in terms of the local economy and the look of Waterfoot.

“The partnership is committed to bringing about real change in the borough and this is the first development and something we are very proud of.”

Katie Gee, of Rossendale Borough Council, added: “The project has allowed us to get involved and engage with the Waterfoot community and the local school competition epitomises that. It really kick-starts an exciting time for the partnership.”

For more contact Jaki Howarth on 01706 836312 or visit www.b-with-us.com.