Campaigners against a new housing development in Colne have reacted angrily after the renovation of a historic building was removed from the agreed planning conditions.

Lidgett & Beyond (L&B) objected to “galling” plans by developer McDermott to remove condition to repair the old Pump House on land adjacent to its development.

Pendle Councillors decided on 9 July, however, to remove the need to renovate the building due a change in ownership and recommendations from the planning inspector.

It means the pump house will be left in its current state unless somebody else undertakes the work, which has angered residents and some councillors alike.

L&B’s chairman of trustees, David Cockburn-Price, said: “Ultimately, just because they could lawfully wriggle out of this obligation, doesn’t mean they should.

“The Lidgett and Beyond Charity has galvanised the local community to work together on so many issues, not just fighting off the unwanted development on the Rough, but for projects like the East Colne Way circular walk.

“We are a community group working towards making this area a better place to live and visit, so it is galling that the developer who is reaping financial rewards at the area’s expense isn’t prepared to give something back.

“I think this is a matter of corporate responsibility and principle that should be addressed, because this is clearly a firm seeking to dodge its moral responsibility to the community.”

The former reservoir pump house, situated near the entrance to The Rough from Skipton Old Road, has been subject to vandalism and anti-social behaviour over recent years.

Councillors did, however, agree to push the current owner of the building to take on the necessary repairs and added the pump house to a list of ‘problem sites’ that the Council reviews each month.

Some expressed anger and accused the McDermott of misleading the Council about its intentions to repair the building.

Councillor Paul Foxley, who represents the Boulsworth ward where the development is taking place, said at the meeting: “If I said disappointing that would be an understatement.

“I think it’s somewhat disingenuous that the developers to turn round at this stage and try and wriggle out what they clearly offered as a sweetener for this development.

“It’s more a case of them having some respect and some consideration of their social responsibilities.

“I would have thought [the pump house] is such a minor thing from the developer’s point of view in the scheme of things with such a sizeable development.

“To try and unilaterally wriggle out of this is pretty poor, frankly.”

The new development promises to build 82 houses on The Lower Rough off Windemere Avenue, Colne, but has faced significant opposition and controversies throughout.

Responding to the criticism, McDermott Homes' land director, Andrew Darbyshire, said: “Whilst we were not party to the original outline application, we subsequently won on appeal by the landowners promoting the site at the time.

“The restoration of the Pump House arose out of the evidence provided during the discussions & agreeing fair and reasonable contributions for a range of facilities.

“The [planning inspector] stated that the restoration of the pump house refurbishment scheme was not specifically sought as the development did not cause harm to it and for this reason, did not give rise to its inclusion.

“Furthermore, it is located on land which we do not own, control or have any rights upon and for this reason, it is not even capable of being implemented by McDermott Homes.”