A COUNCILLOR says ‘people power’ won the day as plans for 129 homes were rejected – for now.

Applicants Miller Homes wanted to build an estate off Red Lees Road, Cliviger.

Council officers recommended that councillors should approve the plans.

However, the planning committee rejected the application and now the scheme’s future will be decided by the full council at a later date.

Cllr Cosima Towneley, who represents the Cliviger with Worsthorne ward, spoke at the meeting but is unsure what the future holds for the scheme.

She said: “We are not against development on there but it was too much housing in the wrong area and had the wrong design.

“The developer did also not make an effort to engage with community as they would have found out our concerns and tried to sort it.

“I am pretty sure they will appeal the decision and it will be going to full council for a decision but it is the first time that I have ever heard of that happening.

“When a committee has been selected to make decision and they say 'no' to it surely that is where it should be decided, not going to the council.

“This was meant to be an executive development as far as we were concerned but they look like matchbox style houses.”

Dozens of letters of objection were received against the proposals, with concerns raised about pressure on the roads, speeding traffic, visual impact, loss of open space and impact on grade-I listed Towneley Hall. Burnley Civic Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Cliviger Parish Council were among those voicing opposition.

The site is currently used as farmland and developers say the scheme will be high quality and consist of large three and four-bedroom homes.

Cllr Andrew Newhouse, who also represents Cliviger with Worsthorne, added: “This is the first point where the council stood up to developers and this scheme was not suitable for the town.

“We need to be able to make these decisions as a council.”

A spokesperson for Miller Homes said: “We are surprised and disappointed about the outcome of the committee meeting as the site has been allocated for housing in the local development plan.

“The application will now go to the full council meeting in Burnley on September 25 and we will await the outcome.”