A NEW housing development with up to 165 properties in Blackburn has been proposed.

Cass Associates from Liverpool have submitted a scheme to Blackburn with Darwen Council for land south of Whalley Old Road in Sunny Bower.

The proposal has proved controversial with residents setting up the Sunny Bower Community Group with 170 members to oppose the scheme.

It has submitted dozens of objections to the plan, raised a petition, written to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and earlier this month the group chairman Iain Sykes quizzed Blackburn with Darwen Council executive board on the issue and said the local authority would be ‘morally bankrupt’ if it approved the project.

The application evaluates any environmental impact of development on that land and it is claimed that such a housing scheme would not have an adverse effect.

The land had a history of use for agriculture but it has been disused recently.

The application said: “There is a long frontage to Whalley Old Road which is generally of open character.

“This frontage is partly defined by a drystone wall and partly by a hedge and a fence.

“On the opposing side of Whalley Old Road is the neighbourhood of Sunny Bower.

“The site is characterised by dense and scattered shrub, tall vegetation, poor semi-improved grassland, marshy grassland and moderately species-rich grassland.

“The majority of trees is located in the south western parts of the site, but they are low quality and value.

“Bearing in mind the constraints and anticipated bias towards detached and semi-detached housing then the anticipated scale of the development is up to 165 units.”

The applicants said the development would not have significant environmental effects on the area.

The document said: “It is not anticipated that the proposed development will cause unusual or complex effects on the environment.”

Cllr Pat McFall, who represents the Little Harwood and Whitebirk ward, said: “There have been some objections to the it before it has gone to planning and there are going to be more once people get aware of it.

“New homes are never going to go waste but it depends on the area and it has been vacant for a long time.

“But I do know that if there are any issues and complaints then they have to be sorted before it is approved.”