Plans to build two semi-detached cottages on land close to a listed farmhouse have been refused by the council.

The application, lodged by Moira Mortimer, for land adjacent to the listed Dam Head Barn in Roughlee, was met with several objections by neighbouring residents as well as the Parish Council and the Environment Agency.

Mrs Mortimer, who owns Dam Head Studios, which comprises of a listed four-star hotel and cottage accommodation, applied to Pendle Borough Council in July seeking permission to erect a pair of one and two-bed affordable semi-detached cottages on land at Blacko Bar Road in Roughlee, Nelson.

The site is currently vacant, and the applicant proposed to build the cottages to a specification that would be in keeping with the surrounding buildings, while maintaining access to the site from Blacko Bar Road.

Objections were made by neighbouring residents and the Parish Council, citing concerns over noise and access to services including sewers, water and electricity, as well as "destruction of the landscape" surrounding their village and worries about the adjacent listed building.

One objection stated: “If this planning is given it will open the floodgates to more, and when will it all stop…not until the beautiful village of Roughlee becomes ruined?”

While another read: “The two proposed dwellings are unnecessary and have no exceptional circumstance nor evidence of local need to justify them.

"Development would deprive villagers and visitors the chance to enjoy the current scenic openness of the approach into Roughlee and the visual isolation of the listed Dam’s Head farmhouse.

"The arguments in favour of this site appear threadbare yet the implications would be severe.”

The Environment Agency (EA) also objected to the plans because of the failure to provide a flood risk assessment (FRA).

The EA recommended the plans be refused and said: “The application site lies within land defined as having a medium/high probability of flooding.

“An FRA must be submitted when development is proposed in such locations. In its absence, the flood risks posed by the development flood are unknown.

"This is sufficient reason for refusing planning permission.”

Amended plans were submitted in September changing the location of the houses, which Roughlee Parish Council said would “arguably be more damaging than the original, given the houses will be much more intrusive with all domestic paraphernalia (bins and so forth) prominently displayed”.

On December 8, a report to the full council committee recommended the plans be approved but on December 9 a decision was made to refuse the application, with a report stating: “The proposed development is poorly related to the surrounding development which is characterised by an open aspect in the street scene.

“The development would look incongruous in the street scene to the detriment of the character of the area and the AONB. As such it represents poor design contrary to the local plan.

“By virtue of its position in front of Dam Head Farmhouse which is a Grade II Listed building the proposed development would affect the setting of the listed building.

“This harm is not outweighed by the limited public benefit which would arise as a result of the proposed development.”