PROPOSALS for an £11million industrial estate are set to go ahead despite fears over the future of ground-nesting birds, flooding and road safety.

Barnfield Investment Properties has been granted outline planning permission to Burnley Council to build 35 units on land off Rossendale Road, on the outskirts of the town, as the first phase of its Advance Point scheme.

The nine-acre site - opposite the Usha restaurant - is open farmland earmarked for job-creating development.

The application was approved by councillors on Burnley Council’s Development Control Committee despite objections from Lancashire Wildlife Trust and The Burnley Wildlife Conservation Forum over the loss of nesting sites for skylarks, lapwings and reed buntings.

Barnfield can now build 35 speculative light industrial units with a new access from Rossendale Road as the first phase of the project, with a second stage to follow.

Local Coal Clough and Deerplay ward’s Cllr Gordon Birtwistle told the committee: “This is an unsuitable site. It is on a hill which is one in four at the top of the slope. It is on a flood plain and there are old mine workings there.

“I am worried about trucks turning onto the busy Rossendale Road and there being accidents. I accept the need for industrial units but this is in the wrong place. It is completely beyond comprehension to me”

Housing boss Cllr John Harbour said the new estate would serve the wider needs of the borough, and his Labour executive colleague Cllr Graham said there were no planning grounds to refuse the application.