PENDLE residents are ‘extremely upset and frustrated’ with a planning application from United Utilities aimed at installing three large water treatment tanks outside their homes.

The water company has outlined plans for a three-year ‘upgrade’ project, costing more than £60 million.

If permission is granted, the impact on the Woodend Road area of Reedley is said to be ‘huge’ with the tanks protruding 40 feet out of the ground and just 20 metres from residents’ front doors.

The work will also see trees removed along with tons of soil and spoil, some of which contains Japanese knotweed, balsam and asbestos.

Carole Johnson, a Woodend Road resident, said: “We were first made aware of this by a resident who found a document dated May 21, which by this time gave us only five days to object.

“We did manage to get an extension to that but only one or two residents knew about the development, hardly anyone had been informed.

“The impact on this area is going to be huge, yet we’ve been told that there is nothing we can do to stop it, because United Utilities are a public service company. This surely can’t be right?

“There’s going to be years of upheaval. It’s going to be a nightmare as Woodend Road is only 20 feet at its widest point. It’s difficult to get two cars to pass, never mind lorries.”

Mrs Johnson and her husband, Harry, who own a campsite on the potentially affected land, also have concerns over the safety of the wildlife in the area.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I was concerned to hear from local residents about what appeared to be a very significant development at Woodend West Water Treatment Works, and further troubled over the apparent lack of consultation.

“As a result, I am seeking an urgent meeting with United Utilities to discuss their plans and discover the impact these may have on local residents.”

A United Utilities spokesperson said: “The multi-million pound upgrade work planned at Burnley Wastewater Treatment Works will help protect and improve water quality in Pendle Water and River Calder, while ensuring we can meet the demands of future population growth.

“However, we appreciate completing such engineering work on this scale can be concerning for local residents who live near the site."