RESIDENTS living near to a proposed development site are determined to fight the council to ensure nine large new homes planned be built on private land do not get the go ahead.

Last month, a decision on the proposals was deferred over concerns to the impact on wildlife and access issues at the site next to Moorthorpe Cottage in Darwen.

But a new report set to go before the planning department on Thursday says the development should go ahead.

However, with more than 40 letters of objection sent to Blackburn with Darwen council, a group of residents are hoping to take matters further and halt the process.

Among the issues raised were insufficient access to the site and poor visibility on surrounding roads, as well as potential damage to the habitat of any wildlife near the proposed development.

Residents have said that the road is not wide enough for large vehicle to fit down, despite planning officers citing the measurements as 'manageable'.

They also object to the proposal of a passing point, which would alleviate the threat of excessive vehicular passing conflict, as it would encroach on private land belonging to one of their neighbours, who hasn't issued the council with permission.

Linda Ahmed, who lives on Chestnut Grove, said the building of nine new homes would cause chaos.

She said: "Bin lorries can't even get up here on the existing road, fire engines struggle to get up here, and the road isn't wide enough for delivery vans to get up either.

"There's no street lighting and there will be no pavements, so it's going to be a safety risk too - during winter, when it gets dark by 4.30pm, you can't see a thing.

"If there's cars and children coming up and down these roads it will be very dangerous.

"Bearing in mind that with nine new homes come two to three cars per home, which is another 27 cars in an area that doesn't have sufficient access. It's going to be a nightmare.

"There's two schools round here and already traffic at the bottom of the road is chaotic, I can only imagine what it's going to be like with 20-30 more cars up here."

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Blackburn with Darwen councillor, Colin Rigby, who is also against the development, said that Blackburn with Darwen council is already 40 percent over its target for building new homes, and the erection of nine new houses, most of which will be detached, doesn't fill any purpose.

Cllr Rigby said: "The council have to build a certain number of homes each year. These are supposed to be affordable. Nine new luxury homes in this area of Darwen will not be affordable to many people. We don't want them."

Resident Clare Starbuck said access to the development site from Park Road would be a problem and added hard landscaping proposals would see the removal of valuable flora and fauna, as well as protected species, from the area.

She said: "There's badgers and deer up here, and there's breeding bats too.

"There are tree preservation orders on a lot of the trees, most of which soak up water. Take away the trees and the rain water will run down into the neighbouring houses, causing the ground to become like a swamp.

"The council said only a few trees would be chopped down, but there's around 30 on that site, all of which would need to come down if they were going to build.

"The ground is uneven, it'd damp, and the woodland here would just be destroyed."

Another resident, Chris Royale, said they are planning to take at least 30 people to the planning committee meeting on Thursday where they will voice their objections and concerns.

He said: "There were 47 objections made to the council and we have 40-50 people with us against this development. It's not needed."