A FINAL masterplan for up to 2,000 new homes in Huncoat will now be published in June – a year later than originally intended.

Cabinet members in Hyndburn approved a further £49,000 on consultancy fees to enable the work to be concluded.

Initial stages of the plan have been completed and development principles for the proposed 'garden village' have been identified.

It has been determined it will be a residential only scheme of up to 2,000 new homes.

There will be safeguarding for former power station railway sidings for future employment/rail freight use.

Subject to further testing and viability, there will be a new road linking Altham Lane with the A56.

It is also proposed to increase junior school provision.

The scheme will also help establish a local “village centre” near to the Lowergate Road/Station Road/Altham Lane junction, as well as car parking provision adjacent to the station.

The former colliery and power station were earmarked as potential sites in the early stages of the plan.

Ward councillor Dave Parkins said: “There are lots of people concerned about this in Huncoat.

“As ward member, I’m concerned about the primary school. At the end of the day, we don’t know what the full impact will be because we don’t know how many houses are going to go on the site.

“If you are talking about 2,000 homes, we would need a new distributor road but if it’s only 1,500 homes, we might not get one.”

Council leader, Cllr Miles Parkinson, added: “The masterplan is critical for Huncoat to make sure the village gets what it needs.

“The worst thing that could happen would be to give planning permission with no masterplan setting out what is required in terms of infrastructure. Previous local plans have seen quite large housing estates built without any masterplan.”