AN MP has called on residents of a village to register their opposition to a new 238 home housing estate on nearby green fields.

The scheme west of Market Street Edenfield has angered local people who complained that a six week consultation period ending on January 3 was inadequate.

Now Rossendale Council has extended this to January 17.

Several Edenfield residents have already objected to the proposal.

The consultation covers both the planning application for the new homes by housebuilder Taylor Wimpey and the Edenfield Masterplan which takes the rural land out of the protected Green Belt.

Rossendale and Darwen Conservative MP said: "I’m encouraged that the council have seen sense and extended the consultation period.

"It did seem rather cynical to try and hold this over Christmas and New Year, so I am pleased they are giving residents more opportunity to have their say.

"However, the fact remains that Rossendale’s Labour Party have marked this site off Market Street for a huge number of new houses, ignoring the views of local people.

"They made a political decision to build these houses on green belt land in Edenfield rather than sharing them in a fairer way on brownfield sites across the rest of the borough.

“The number of houses proposed is clearly far too high for such a small village and I would encourage everyone living in Edenfield to let the council know their views before the consultation closes.”

Rossendale Council leader Cllr Alyson Barnes said: Once a local planning authority validates a planning application, it has to begin consultation on it straight away. There is no basis in planning law to delay the consultation for events such as Christmas.

"The legal requirement is just 21 days. The original consultation on the planning application at Edenfield was for 43 days and this has been further extended to 57.

"There’s no doubt that there is a need for more housing, not just in Rossendale but across the country.

"The very government of which Mr Berry is a member of has set strict targets for new house builds that councils must adhere to.

"The ‘ample’ brownfield sites he refers to just don’t exist. Most viable brownfield sites have been built on. Our beautiful hills and valleys make it extremely challenging to find sites that can be used to build housing.

"As a result, we have agreed building on the outskirts of the borough.

"The greenbelt review was carried out correctly and was consulted on fully. We took six per cent of the borough’s greenbelt to ensure we could adhere to central government’s targets for the building of new homes."