A CAMPAIGN has been launched opposing the construction of nearly 70 homes and a new community centre in a village.

People in Hoghton have rallied together against the plans in Gregson Lane which they said would be a ‘monstrosity’ and a ‘blot on the landscape’.

Residents group Gregson Green, which has been trying to raise money for a replacement centre for a number of years, has put forward the scheme.

It would see 68 houses built to help the community fulfil its aim of building a new community centre to replace the dilapidated village hall.

The plans have come about after resident Jennifer Turner, the owner of an area of fields, said she was willing to utilise some of her land to allow for the development to be built to help the community fulfil its aim of building a new centre.

Under the bid, the housing development would be built on part of the land at Daub Hall Lane, while the community centre would be erected on the existing site at Gregson Lane.

The proposal is to submit a combined planning application for the new community centre and housing development, with the aim of using the land to provide sufficient funds to pay for the construction of a new replacement community centre.

But a group of residents have spoke out against the plans following a recent consultation and have formed the ‘Keep Gregson Green’ group.

Committee member Stewart Golder said: “We estimate that there will be three to five years of disruption, 200 to 250 new people, 150 more cars and 100 children competing for places at our local schools.

“Property prices will be affected and all village houses will be harder to sell due to the competition.

“And worst of all, we will start to lose the very thing that makes us a rural community.

“The housing development would be a monstrosity and a blot on our landscape.”

But Jacqui Gibson, chairman of Gregson Green said: "No plans have been submitted yet.

"In terms of traffic, as part of the planning process, there would be a traffic management survey.

"There is no issue with school places as figures from the council suggest there is capacity in schools to deal with this.

"The old community centre needs replacing for a better facility and the housing will help local businesses and see people spend money in Hoghton.

"From our own consultation, at least 70 per cent of people said they were happy and wanted us to move forward with the plans."

The existing Gregson Lane Community Centre dates back to the 1960s but has fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years.