WORK is underway on a brand new housing development in Blackburn, one of the biggest-ever regeneration projects in the town.

The project will see more than 370 homes built as well as investment in the Fishmoor Drive and Roman Road area, including a £400,000 boost for local education.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for growth and development, said: "When passed, this scheme was part of the biggest planning applications brought before the Council since it was formed more than 20 years ago.

"A lot of hard work has gone in to bringing this project forward with our partners and it will breathe new life into the whole area and reap real benefits for the whole community.

"It will also significantly contribute to the town’s need for quality and affordable new family homes as well as our aspiration for real growth for the borough.

"With the £250million masterplan recently revealed for the town centre too, schemes like this show why Blackburn is attracting significant interest from investors - building a strong future for our residents and businesses."

The planning application included new homes on three brownfield sites in the Fishmoor and Higher Croft area – including land where the old Newfield School was and Higher Croft Vocational Centre.

Two sites were owned by the council and had been empty for many years and the third was owned by Together Housing Group, who joined forces to aid the progression of the plans.

The council sold its two sites to pave the way for significant regeneration of the area.

Mark Hadfield, managing director of Countryside, added: "Countryside has a proud history of regenerating and uplifting areas throughout the North of England and beyond.

"We look forward to creating much needed homes across a variety of tenures.

"Higher Croft has plenty of untapped potential, including proximity to the town centre, making it highly accessible.

"We look forward to transforming these plots of land into a thriving sustainable community together with our partners."

The development, led by Countryside Properties and Together Housing Group will be called Brookfield Vale and will include a mix of two, three and four bedroomed houses that will be offered for sale.

Of those, 20 per cent will be allocated as affordable homes by Together Housing and 154 will be available for private rent through PRS provider, Sigma Capital.

Kevin Ruth, chief executive of Together Housing Group, said: "The regeneration of the sites at Fishmoor is a project we are proud to deliver alongside Countryside and our other partners.

"The project will benefit the area in many ways, by providing affordable quality homes, a good mix of tenure choices to meet a variety of housing needs, create employment opportunities and lift the appearance of the area.

"The project is further demonstration of our commitment to investing in improving the areas we work in, through regeneration and place-shaping".

Countryside has started work on the first site off Roman Road and it hopes to have the first homes ready by September.