SENIOR councillors have out off deciding on whether to permit a controversial planning applications for 129 new homes over fears of flooding in nearby Earby.

Pendle Council's Policy and Resources Committee will now ask for further information on proposals for the new housing estate in Barnoldswick which generated generated several objections.

The plan for a new housing estate on site of the former Barnsay Mill in Long Ing Lane, Barnoldswick was submitted by developer Seddon Homes Ltd.

Now the committee is seeking further information from the Earby and Salterforth Internal Drainage Board.

Opposition to the scheme was led by Craven ward councillor and Liberal Democrat group leader David Whipp.

He said historically part of the land allocated for the housing estate had been a water meadow and peat bog for hundreds of years.

The committee was told by planning officer Alex Cameron that it should approve the detailed application as drainage matters had been dealt with by a previous outline planning permission and could be dealt with by conditions on the approval.

But Cllr Whipp, deputy leader of the council, said: "This application is utterly unacceptable as it will merely accelerate the flow of water towards Earby where the Environment Agency is spending millions of pounds on flood protection.

"The drainage plans deal with potential flooding on the development but not what happens elsewhere.

"The water had to go somewhere and this development will simply dump it on to people's homes in Earby."

Cllr Whipp succesfully moved that the decision be deferred until next months meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee while detailed views were sought from the Earby and Salterforth Internal Drainage Board as the experts on flood risks in the area.

He was supported by Conservative group leader Nadeem Ahmed who said: "I do genuinely think there are some serious concerns about detriment to people in Earby."

Earby Tory Cllr Mike Goulthorp said: "The water flow is going to accelerated by this development and it has to go somewhere which I fear will be towards Earby."

The committee voted unanimously to defer the final decision on the application.

Barnoldswick Town Council and Pendle Council's West Craven Committee had objected to the applcation on the grounds of potential flooding.

Neighbours ahd also objected because of concerns relating to flooding, the impact on wildlife and air quality,traffic, the level of affordable housing, development of a greenfield site, and the impact on health and education services.