A new township estate will have its own 'hedgehog highway' if it is approved by councillors.

Officers have recommended Hyndburn Planning Committee on Wednesday approve the scheme to build 53 new homes on two vacant plots of land either side of Britannia Street in Great Harwood.

But they want to impose a condition on developer Keepmoat Homes to protect hedgehogs.

It would require them to ensure that 'all external boundary structures, inclusive of fences and walls, must be made fully permeable to hedgehogs through the provision of 13 by 13 centimetre gaps at regular intervals (every 30 to 40 metres) across the whole development site'.

The conditions on any planning permission would also include tree protection measures; the installation of bat boxes, bird boxes and bee bricks and protection for nesting birds.

Keepmoat want to develop three acres of cleared land, previously used for industrial purposes, having mill buildings located on the site as far back as 1895.

They propose to construct 11 two-bedroomed homes, 39 houses with three bedrooms and three four-bedroomed properties.

A planning officer's report to the committee says: "The application site comprises of two parcels of land off Britannia Street, on the northern fringe of Great Harwood town centre.

"The northern parcel extends to approximately 1.13 acres and the southern parcel including the former mill extends to approximately 2.21 acres.

"The northern parcel is a relatively flat open space which is overgrown.

"The southern parcel is set at two levels; the lower level has access from Britannia Street.

"The former mill is set at a higher level and is accessed off Mill Street. This area comprises of old workshop space and is dominated by the chimney of the former St Lawrence’s Mill.

"Great Harwood conservation area abuts the southern part of the site.

"The development would include mews properties, semi-detached and detached properties.

"On balance, in the light of redeveloping the site and preserving/enhancing the conservation area by developing a site which is partially abandoned, officers accept that on balance, the use of red bricks in this location is considered acceptable.

"The development would contain some open space within it, which would be along the line of the culvert.

"A plan is required to ensure that this open space is maintained in perpetuity.

"The council’s park’s department have made a request for £44,507 which would be spent on nearby open space provision which would be used by the residents of the development."