Members of a countryside charity are claiming their town is "under attack" after developers launched a consultation on plans to build 172 new homes on vacant land close to a high school.

The land, known locally as Upper Rough, in Colne, is being earmarked for development by Accrue Capital, who want to build 172 homes on the site near Windermere Avenue, essentially creating a 'new community' for the town.

The devlopers have created a virtual exhibition of what the new community, called Colne Valley View, would look like once finished and are inviting people to have their say on the proposals. 

However, Lidgett and Beyond, the East Colne Countryside Charity and community group, is urging its supporters to object to Accrue Capital’s bid, saying the proposals "fly in the face of an appeal decision" made in 2016 when a similar application was lodged with the council.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Mark Chung, who is on the Lidgett and Beyond management team and is also a trustee of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and of the Ramblers Association, said: "Colne is under attack from housing developers.

"This totally flies in the face of the appeal decision of 2016 which rejected a similar development.

"Lidgett and Beyond believe the developers have not addressed the Planning Inspector’s determination from the 2016 appeal for the previous planning application on the Upper Rough.

"The Planning Inspector in 2016 was quite clear and nothing has changed since.

"This 'virtual exhibition' and flyer from Accrue is just a slickly presented, tick-box consultation at this stage, which developers have to do by law.

MORE: Consultation launched over plans for 172 new homes on land in Colne

"There will still be a planning application coming forward, but we still need to make our feelings heard now.

“Accrue Capital claims that having access points off Castle Road and Windermere Avenue, 'will have minimal impact on traffic congestion'.

"That’s a farcical statement. This wannabe developer also claims that these 172 houses are not a housing estate, but 'a new community' within Colne.

"They say, 'our placemaking ideals will ensure the new development has modern homes in authentic local styles as well as pedestrian connectivity throughout the immediate neighbourhood for everyone to enjoy'.

"That’s ridiculous. Of course it’s a housing estate.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

In 2014, two overlapping applications were lodged with Pendle Borough Council, one seeking to build 90 new homes on the land off Windermere Avenue and one to build 270 new homes.

Both of the applications were refused in 2015, but appeals were launched against these decisions the following year, with only the 90 home development appeal being successful and planning permission granted.

The appeal against refusal for 270 homes was dismissed, with the negative impact on the conservation area, destruction of natural habitat for birds and animals - especially the red-listed curlew, negative impact on long range views, and detrimental impact on footpaths, popular with hundreds of locals and visitors, cited as main reasons. 

Mr Chung continued: "The developer renaming Upper Rough as Colne Valley View has also angered local residents.

"The London-based company doesn’t appear to know that the actual Colne Valley is near Huddersfield.

"This development would have a catastrophic impact on East Colne, and Lidgett and Beyond is asking locals to e-mail, copying in, so the group can keep track of how many responses there are and to record the reasons given."

The consultation went live at the end of last week and the deadline for comments is Monday, June 27.

A statement from Accrue Capital said: "We understand the planning history of the site and draw on the lessons learnt from the 2014/2015 planning application and subsequent appeal when bringing forward plans for Colne Valley View.

"The proposed scheme is different and has a completely new team taking a fresh approach to that of the proposal which was submitted to Pendle Borough Council in 2014.

"Accrue Capital has taken a bespoke approach when evolving the design over the last year.

"At the heart of the plans for Colne Valley View is the design of the properties and how the development can complement the area’s already vibrant heritage.

"Our plans are designed to create a new community, not just more homes.

"That is why we are consulting the community on our plans for Colne Valley View to ensure that the layout and design of new housing is informed by local views."

The Upper Rough has been chosen as a Local Green Space in the emerging Colne Neighbourhood Plan:

To take a look at the latest proposal to build on Upper Rough, visit: