RESIDENTS are gearing up for a summer of discontent over plans to build up to 3,800 new homes in Burnley and Padiham over the next 16 years.

Neighbours of two controversial sites, off Rossendale Road and Hollins Cross Farm, which could see more than 400 homes, are marshalling opposition to their surprise inclusion in the borough Local Plan process.


More than 100 people are said to have attended a public consultation exercise at Parkside Methodist Church after it emerged the Hollins Cross site would be considered for residential development before 2032.

Former Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, who represents Coal Clough with Deerplay as a borough councillor, has arranged the first of two public meetings at Glen View golf club on Thursday, from 7pm, to debate plans which could see up to 245 homes constructed at the Woodplumpton Road site, which overlooks the town centre.

He said: “We have already compiled a 34-page document detailing all of the reasons that this would not be suitable for housing, ranging from the fact that part of the site used to be a designated wildlife area, to the evidence of old mine workings, underneath the land.

“The residents will be asked how we can take this forward. People were never told that these sites were being considered when they bought homes in this area, and there is a lot of concern.”

Other prominent sites which have been suggested for housing include the former Baxi sie at Padiham, the old Hameldon School sites, New Hall Street, Higher Saxfield, Melrose Avenue, Red Lees Road and the former Ridgewood School.

Campaigners in Worsthorne are also in uproar, after they were invited to a public display of plans for 120 homes at Butcher’s Farm, off Brownside Road, which had not even been included in the plan. Parish councillors will discuss the furore on Monday at the Reading Rooms in Church Square.

Barrie Sharpley, of Worsthorne Residents Group, said: “The residents group will be represented at the parish council meeting and is developing a strategy to challenge any planning application through the summer holiday period.”

Villagers are also being urged to attend when the Local Plan teams arrives for a consultation evening on Thursday, August 11, at Worsthorne Primary School, from 2pm to 7pm. Another similar exercise takes place before then at Cliviger Village Hall next Wednesday (Jul27).

Cllr Sue Graham, the council’s regeneration executive member, said: “The Local Plan gives the council influence in controlling future development such as where new homes or businesses should be built, as well as how we attract investment and jobs into our borough, and protect our heritage and natural environment. It’s vital we get feedback from everyone with an interest in the future of our borough.”

Further meetings are pencilled in for Stoneyholme and Daneshouse Youth and Community Centre on August 9 and Burnley Town Hall on August 22.

The final submissions on the Local Plan will inform the borough’s housing outlook up until 2032, after being ratified by the council’s executive in December, following the consultations.

After the final version is devised, a government-appointed inspector will examine the proposals next spring and make possible revisions.