Proposals to build 14 homes, some of which would be on Green Belt land, have been submitted to the council.

The application to build two two-bed bungalows, two two-bed semi-detached houses, eight three-bed semi-detached houses, and two four-bed detached houses on land known as Heath Hill House, Booth Road, Stacksteads, was lodged with Rossendale Borough Council at the beginning of April by Hourigan Connolly on behalf of Brother Development Ltd.

The application states that the site comprises of 'an unremarkable area of vacant land located in an accessible, predominantly residential area that benefits from good transport links to the wider borough and beyond'.

However, part of the site, which measures an area of approximately 0.74 hectares, is located on Green Belt land, and Brothers Development Ltd have applied to build on this land, stating that it fails to 'entirely contribute to Green Belt purposes'.

The applicants have said Green Belt boundaries can be updated in exceptional circumstances and have asked to release part of the site from Green Belt, due to the fact Rossendale Borough Council have a substantial housing shortage and cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of homes.

It was also noted that the site had been included in the emerging Local Plan as a site allocated for housing and therefore re-development should be acceptable.

The planning statement reads: "It cannot be ignored that part of the site is located in the Green Belt and in that regard, consideration must also be given to the section of Policy 1 which covers the Green Belt and Countryside

"Proposals outside the urban boundary will be determined in accordance with the relevant national and local planning guidance.

"A review of the existing Green Belt boundaries in the areas shown will be undertaken as part of the site allocations development plan document.

"The review will be limited to small scale changes and cartographic corrections that do not adversely impact on the purposes of including land in the Green Belt.

"Any changes to the Green Belt would only be made in exceptional circumstances."

Brothers Development Ltd say the 14-home scheme has been carefully designed to reflect the character of the neighbouring residential areas, to complement the existing community, and to have regard to the open countryside to the immediate north.

It would include car parking and hard and soft landscaping, which would also result in a diversion of a public right of way.

The planning statement added: "Rossendale Borough Council’s stated position is that it cannot currently demonstrate a five-year housing plan.

"Consequently, the balance is in favour of granting planning permission, unless the adverse impacts significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits of the proposal.

"On receipt of a satisfactory planning permission, the applicants would build out themselves, and the scheme would contribute to housing land supply in Rossendale within the next five years."

The proposals stated that the applicants 'did not feel that, with regard this specific planning application, the local community would be in any way prejudiced by not having been consulted on the proposals prior to a planning application being submitted'.

However, local residents will of course have the opportunity to comment and object to the proposals as part of the formal planning application process.

A decision on the application will be made later in the year.