CONTROVERSIAL plans for more than a dozen new homes on former allotments are to be determined next week.

Last year, MJ Hart Homes put forward an application to Blackburn with Darwen Council proposing 14 new homes on land off Albert Street in Hoddlesden.

The site was used as allotments but has since been cleared and the assorted sheds and other structures on the site taken down.

And now the development will be discussed by the council’s planning and highways committee before a decision is made.

But 66 letters objecting to the development have been received by town hall bosses.

Concerns expressed range from loss of privacy, risk of flooding and strain on GP services and schools to visual impact on the conservation area.

Fears were also raised about increased traffic, access problems and road safety.

The proposed development is near Hoddlesden conservation area, which was designated in 1975.

The conservation area is characterised by its hillside location and sloping streets.

The war memorial and surrounding open space and trees are key to the area’s character.

But developers are confident the estate would not impact on it.

Senior planner Alec Hickey has recommended members grant permission for the development to go ahead.

He said: “The council’s development plan supports new development within the defined village boundary of Hoddlesden.

“The proposal will deliver a high-quality housing scheme which will widen the choice of family housing in the borough."

“It supports the borough’s planning strategy for housing growth as set out in the core strategy.

“The proposal is also satisfactory from a technical point of view, with all issues having been addressed through the application, or capable of being controlled or mitigated through planning conditions.”

A heritage statement submitted as part of the application states: “Currently the application site is overgrown and unsightly. The proposed development will therefore improve the view from those properties that overlook the site.”

If approved, the development will have 13 four and five-bedroom houses and one three-bedroom house, along with a total of 42 parking spaces.