CONTROVERSIAL plans to build more than 125 homes on open land in Burnley have succeeded at the second attempt.

Councillors had earlier thrown out a bid by Miller Homes for the site in Red Lees Road, Cliviger, amid concerns about how sustainable the development would be in the village and the density of the estate.

But an extraordinary full council meeting was called, as the decision was said to represent a significant departure from the borough’s Local Plan.

The application was considered afresh before a reconvened committee and narrowly passed.

One council source said: “The residents were absolutely steaming after the decision was made.”

Councillors heard that a number of revisions had been made to the blueprints since they were first considered in August.

The total number of houses had dropped from 129 to 125, with the removal of units across the proposed site.

Five affordable properties had been introduced into the scheme and a contribution of nearly £400,000 had been offered to provide similar provisions off-site.

Another £980,000 payout was pledged to cover education improvements locally and it was proposed that 68 semi-mature trees would be installed along the three most exposed boundaries.

Burnley Conservation Forum members argued that the land served a vital purpose in feeding qualifying bird species from the nearby South Pennines.

Natural England also felt that the proposals would damage the moors' site of special scientific interest.

Burnley Civic Trust also lobbied the planning authority, claiming the development was "uninspiring" and would only result in the borough's "urban sprawl" being extended into Cliviger.

Cliviger parish councillors also believed the estate would exacerbate existing traffic problems and local primary schools were full.