A PLANNING application for 71 new homes on greenbelt land which led to 100 objections and faced refusal over its lack of affordable homes has been withdrawn.

Rossendale Council’s development control committee heard last night that an application by McDermott Homes to build 39 three-bedroom and 32 four-bedroom houses off Fieldfare Way, Bacup, had been withdrawn.

Objections had previously been raised by some Bacup residents who held protests on the land saying it was well used by children and adults for recreation.

Their fears included the loss of open space, especially for children in the area, the loss of wildlife and increased road traffic.

Other worries included a lack of school and doctors’ surgery spaces for new households.

Separately, Rossendale Council planning officers had said not enough affordable homes were proposed by McDermott Homes and the right mix between shared ownership and affordable rent had not been achieved.

A previous application in 2019 to build 71 homes at the site was refused because not enough affordable homes were proposed and other reasons, council notes for the development control meeting said.

The Bacup site is allocated for potential housing land under the borough council’s emerging new Local Plan.

Also at the meeting, Lidl in Rawtenstall was given permission to extend its Monday to Saturday opening hours from 8pm to 10pm. Sunday closing times will remain.

There was some regret about partial demolition of a chimney at Whitworth Heritage Museum.

The committee had delayed a decision on the plan to reduce the chimney to see if potential sources of funding for repair work could be found to keep the chimney at full height.

At the committee meeting, planning officer Mike Atherton said various discussions had been held between the borough council and county council but no sources of funding for repairs had been identified.

Whitworth Coun Alan Neal felt torn by the application, saying: “This is part of Rossendale’s heritage yet the museum has concerns about being liable if part of the chimney fell on people below. I reluctantly support this application. It’s done with a certain amount of regret and sadness.

“There used to be hundreds or thousands of mill chimneys around Rossendale. However there will be just two left in Whitworth after this work.”

Partial demolition was approved.