WORK on a controversial development of 79 affordable ‘eco-homes’ on green space will start later this year.

The houses off Harrison Drive, Colne, should be ready for occupation in summer next year.

The green light for the estate was given by a special session of Pendle Borough’s Policy and Resources Committee after objections from nearby residents.

Five attended the meeting to speak against the scheme after a 65-signature petition was lodged against the proposal with the council.

Opponents say the development would result in the loss of vital open grassland.

The 79 homes use the latest green technologies for their power and heating.

The estate will comprise 43 two-bedroom properties, 28 three-bedroom houses and eight four-bedroom homes.

The development has received £3.5million in Homes England Strategic Partnership funding.

It is the first project of a new partnership called PEARL Together between Pendle Council, Barnfield Investment Properties and social homes provider Together Housing Group.

Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, leader of Pendle Council said: “The new homes will be built on an overgrown, under-used and difficult-to-access site.

“We carried out public consultation for people neighbouring the site last August and that has informed how the scheme will look.

“We will be retaining some of the open space and improving it.

“And the new homes will be built 21 metres away from the back of the houses which surround the site on all sides, on Birtwistle Avenue, Slater Avenue, Tennyson Road and Harrison Drive."

Vivary Bridge ward Liberal Democrat councillor David Clegg, who expressed worries about parking and access for some homes, said: “My concerns were resolved at the meeting.”