COUNCIL bosses have been taken to task over the future of green land on the site of a new 30-home development.

Leigh Keen, chairman of Feniscliffe Bank Residents Association, said Blackburn with Darwen Council regeneration boss Phil Riley had given a guarantee that 0.5 hectares of green land used by children and dog walkers would not be lost when the old Feniscliffe Bank care home at Tower Road was knocked down to make way for houses.

But an outline planning application showed just a portion of the green space would remain. Cllr Riley denied giving residents such a guarantee. Proposals to dispose of the land at Tower Road in Blackburn were approved when the council’s executive board met. Council bosses say the loss of the land will be offset by the proximity of Witton Park.

Applethwaite Homes, part of the Eric Wright Group behind the Cathedral Square office block plan, will now begin drawing up detailed plans for the site, and Cllr Riley said they had agreed to meet with residents to listen to their concerns ahead of lodging an application.

Mr Keen said: “We have no complaints about the number or style of houses - it is about keeping this piece of green infrastructure.”

Resident Jack Ellison, who lives near the proposed housing site, said a vital piece of land where children can safely play would be lost. He added: “The open space at Tower Road has been used by residents of the borough for more than 40 years. If you leave just a strip of land, it loses its function. Children from all the houses round there come and play and parents let them because they know it is safe.

“Witton Park is a very different place - there is traffic, dogs, motorbikes and strangers.”

Cllr Riley said: “Within the outline planning decision there is a piece of green land running parallel to Tower Road. The insistence the council has made with developers is that this piece of land is sacrosanct.

“In the end, a lot of this is about balance. We say the developers are going to demolish an unwanted building and provide a significant piece of residential parking off-street.

“They will provide some green space and 30 high quality houses for people in this borough to live in. We believe in the end there is a balance there and it is a balance which is probably acceptable.”