DESPITE dozens of letters of objections, Blackburn with Darwen Council planners are recommending approval for a controversial plan to build five new homes on Billinge End Road.

The council's planning and highways committee will meet next week to discuss whether to approve the application, with billionaire Euro Garages brothers Mohsin and Zuber Issa involved.

If approved, eight existing homes will be knocked down to make way for the new development.

Principal planning officer Martin Kenny said in a report to go before the committee: "The public objections are dominated by concerns with the design of the houses.

"Common concerns relate to their overall size and massing, as well as questioning how the loss of the existing attractive properties can be justified.

"The overall impact on the character of the locality is questioned, as is why the properties cannot be individually designed rather than having a repetitive form.

"The proposed design and appearance is not considered to be harmful in itself, in many regards they form an attractive and well-designed executive home, with high quality features including sliding timber sash windows and stone detailing."

Last week, resident Ian Woolley, who has lived in the area for more than 50 years, urged Blackburn with Darwen Council planning bosses to reject the plans as they stand.

He claims the application as it is falls foul of the council’s local plan, as well as the government’s national planning policy framework.

The application will be discussed at a crunch meeting in Blackburn town hall on Thursday next week.