A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build homes on greenfield land, which was refused by a borough council, has been overturned by the government’s planning agency.

Applicant John Wharton, submitted a plan to build 20 homes on greenfield land off Greenberfield (corr) Lane, in Barnoldswick, last year.

Residents in nearby Gisburn Road objected to the plans due to traffic, access and sewage and flooding concerns.

And Pendle Council’s development management committee voted against the proposals.

However the plan was taken to the government’s Planning Inspectorate and permission has now been granted.

Cllr David Whipp, who represents the area on Pendle Council, said it was of great disappointment another piece of greenfield land at the edge of Barnoldswick would be lost to development.

He said: “I thought we had a better-than-even chance of winning the appeal.

“There are great road safety issues with the land, one of which is there would be no continuous pavement for pedestrians on busy Gisburn Road.

“It is another blow to resisting builders in Barnoldswick.

“The inspectorate is bound by the government which wants to build hundreds of homes in the area.

“The government is demanding more houses to be built and the inspectorate has to follow this.”

Within the decision letter, Michael Moffott, from the Planning Inspectorate, said: “Local residents refer to traffic collisions that have occurred at or near to the Greenberfield Lane/Gisburn Road junction.

“However, the statistical evidence before me shows that the highway network in the vicinity of the site has a relatively good safety record over the last five years in terms of recorded personal injury accidents.

“There is no technical evidence before me to demonstrate that the scheme

would exacerbate flooding in the locality or cannot be satisfactorily drained.

“The Environment Agency and United Utilities have no objections to the proposal and Yorkshire Water advises that a water supply can be provided to serve the development.

“I conclude that the proposed development would not materially harm highway and pedestrian safety.”