A COUPLE have won their battle to extend a historic former handloom weavers cottage in a conservation area so they can be near elderly relatives.

Councillors have granted planning permission for the two-storey addition to the back of the 19th century building in West Street, Padiham.

The scheme was approved by Burnley Council development control committee despite objections from a neighbour and Hapton with Park ward’s Cllr Peter Gill about its impact on the conservation area.

Applicant Jeff Kirby told the councillors: “My wife and I are the owners of this property and which will allow us to move into an area which we love and also be close to our ageing and sickly relatives which is why we bought this property.

“Obviously this is very important to us.

“The cottage in question is minute in size inside. It is very, very small.

“The kitchen at the rear is tiny. It is very damp, mouldy and dark. The bathroom at the rear upstairs is in a very similar condition.

“The cottage is narrow. I think it is probably the narrowest cottage on the row. It cannot be extended at the front and is not able to provide and acceptable living space to today's standards.

“Our proposal will not impact on any designated feature and it will not affect the heritage interest of the building.

“We only wish now that we are able to proceed without any further delay.”

A report from officers to the committee said: “The application relates to a mid-terrace former handloom weaver’s cottage located on the northern side of West Street and set back from the road with a walled garden. The two-storey cottage dates from the early 1800s.

“The property makes a positive contribution to the character and appearance of Padiham Conservation Area.

“On balance, it is considered that the extension is of a sufficiently high standard of design.”

The report reveals one objection from a nearby resident on the grounds of the extension not being in keeping with the character of the conservation area.

This concern was echoed in the meeting by Cllr Gill who said: “As a ward councillor, I don’t like the idea of conservation areas having anything done to them. I find heritage and especially Padiham heritage very, very important. I am going to have to reject this.”

Moving approval Cllr Sue Graham: “I am in favour of this application. It is of a fairly modest size.”