A council has refused permission in principle for nine new detached homes which would support care leavers and teenage families.

In December, Lisa Cottrell and her husband submitted an application to Rossendale Council seeking permission in principle for up to nine detached dwellings, including self-build accommodation and supported accommodation dwellings for care leavers and teenage families on land at Back Lane, Rising Bridge.

Two of the proposed dwellings would have been supported accommodation for care leavers and teenage families, with the remaining seven units being utilised as self-build plots.

The applicants, in 2003, became involved with Barnardo’s and were accepted to look after vulnerable children. They later applied to and were successful in their attempts to become registered supported lodging providers for the council and then applied to become foster carers.

The applicant’s home is of a size that allows them to support one child, or a same-sex sibling group, as they have their own children at home, so if the application had been successful, it would have enabled them to provide supported accommodation to more children and teens.

However, because the site is on Green Belt land, special circumstances would have to be provided for the council to consider it feasible to build on.

One letter of objection was received which stated: “This green belt land is directly across from our property and has had nothing on that land for over 50 years that we know of, its frequented by various wildlife including dear.

“Our view from both down and upstairs windows would be changed by this application.

“It also would not be safe for the children using the park and football pitch that border the site, and the lane itself is more frequently used by walkers/horses etc than any vehicles.

“Whilst understanding a support for helping homeless people I believe this is only being added to the application so as to get planning for the other units as well.

“There are many other areas that would be better for this build than a current green belt plot next to a local park and football field that would obstruct over 12 current properties views they have at present.”

Earlier this week, Rossendale Council refused permission in principle for the homes and said: “The proposal would result in inappropriate development within the Green Belt, which by definition is harmful.

“No very special circumstances have been demonstrated which would outweigh the resulting harm.

“As such, the development is contrary to Section 13 of the National Planning Policy Framework and Policy SD2 of the adopted Rossendale Local Plan.”

The applicants can now appeal the decision if they want to and resubmit their plans.