PLANS for a controversial new 155-home housing estate on open land have been branded as ‘the wrong development in the wrong place’.

Persimmon Homes is proposing to build the mix of properties on land off Ramsgreave Drive in north Blackburn.

The proposed estate, including 67 four and five-bedroomed houses, stretches across 22 acres of green space in Roe Lee to the south of Blackburn Rugby Club.

It is part of Blackburn with Darwen Council controversial blueprint to build 4,000 executive-style homes across 1,200 acres unveiled in 2013.

The proposed new scheme is close to Wainhomes North West’s £40million scheme to build 272 upmarket homes on greenfield land off Yew Tree Drive and Whinney Lane in Blackburn which was approved last year despite hundreds of objections and several protest petitions.

Cllr John Slater, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council Conservative group, said: “These are the wrong homes in the wrong place. The borough needs the green open space more than it needs these new houses.

“There is not sufficient infrastructure – roads, schools and health facilities – for this number of new homes.

“This is covering over green land that our children and grandchildren should inherit and enjoy with houses we don’t require or want.”

Cllr Phil Riley, borough regeneration boss, said: “This is not building on green fields.

“It is part of the council’s Roe Lee masterplan.

“The fact that developers are now looking to build on more difficult and brownfield sites in the borough is an encouraging sign for the housing market in Blackburn with Darwen.”

Persimmon Homes on Friday unveiled details of its latest development off Ramsgreave Drive past Saint Gabriels C of E primary school and Holy Souls Roman Catholic primary school consisting of five two-bedroom homes, 88 three-bedroom properties and 62 four-bedroom homes.

The planning application comes after it was revealed more than 1,000 houses need to be built in Blackburn with Darwen over each of the next five years after the council fell almost 2,000 properties short of its own target from 2011/12 to 2017/18.

Wainhomes North West is building detached and semi-detached homes on 32 acres of land off Yew Tree Drive and Whinney Lane in Blackburn.

In a statement submitted alongside the application for its nearby Ramsgreave Drive scheme, Persimmon Homes said: “The development of this site represents a significant opportunity for Blackburn to support and promote sustainable development.

“The site is a residential housing allocation, featuring in the Blackburn with Darwen Local Plan and the Roe Lee Masterplan.

“As a result, it has been rigorously tested against a number of criteria to confirm it is a suitable, sustainable residential development location.

“The site at Roe Lee is in an ideal location to help Blackburn with Darwen Council to meet its annual housing targets.

“The application proposal provides a mix of housing to meet the requirements of the community, offering choice and variety, while still complementing the surrounding land uses and house styles. The site is located in a sustainable location, with good public transport links.”

Cllr Slater said: “The council is obsessed with building houses wherever they can get developers to build them. The trouble is it’s the wrong sort of obsession.

“They should be building on brownfield previously-developed sites not green open spaces.”

Cllr Riley said: “Persimmon are aware that the land includes open space used for dog walking and recreation and have built provision for that to continue into their plans.”