CONTROVERSIAL proposals for supported living in Accrington have been allowed on appeal.

In October, plans to build assisted living flats on an Accrington back alley were thrown out, leaving campaigners overjoyed.

Hyndburn Council planning committee members refused permission for the application by J&R Plant Hire UK to build six units on land next to Back Owen Street in the town.

A similar scheme was rejected last year by the council and also on appeal to the planning inspectorate.

Council planning officers had recommended the new plans be approved despite more than 100 objections from the public.

But citing concerns over access and safety, committee members voted unanimously against the proposal.

Applicants appealed the council’s decision to the Planning Inspectorate and have been successful in getting the decision overturned.

And the government-appointed inspector has also awarded full costs to the applicant, meaning the council will have to fork out to cover additional expense incurred by J&R Plant Hire as a result of the appeal process.

Inspector Gareth Wildgoose said: “The safety of potentially vulnerable future residents has been raised due to the relatively secluded location of the site behind properties which face Whalley Road and Owen Street.

“However, based on the evidence before me, I am satisfied that the installation of CCTV cameras and associated lighting around the entrances to the individual properties and the communal area would ensure a safe and suitable environment for future residents and staff by providing suitable levels of surveillance that in my experience is often an effective deterrent to crime.

“The access arrangements of the proposal are broadly similar to those considered by the previous inspector in 2018.

“Based upon the evidence before me, there has not been a material change in circumstances in terms of the proposed access arrangements and local highway conditions aside from the inclusion of the site access within the red edge on the location plan submitted as part of this proposed development.

“In terms of access at the junction, on occasion, vehicles may be required to wait on Whalley Road to turn left or right into the access road in close proximity to a bus stop on the far-side carriageway and where cars may be overtaking parked cars within the oncoming lane and therefore, may be close to the centre line.

“However, it is not an unusual situation for vehicles to wait on a highway for short periods of time to turn.

“I conclude that the proposal is in accordance with the development plan and the Framework when taken as a whole. The appeal, therefore, should be allowed and planning permission granted.”

The site off Whalley Road is a former industrial plot which has been redundant and dilapidated for years.

Speaking against the development at the hearing in October, ward councillor Paul Cox said: “Anyone who knows that area knows it’s an accident blackspot.

“Do we really want to put vulnerable people on a back street?"