The approval of plans for a 477-home housing estate on the site of a former school in Darwen have been met with anger by campaigners.

The controversial application was passed at a meeting of  Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Planning and Highways Committee on Thursday, November 16.

The development on 45 acres of land at the site of the former Darwen Moorland High School were recommended for approval by planning officers ahead of the meeting, and was given the go ahead by the committee.

Ward councillors previously said local roads are unfit to cope with the increase in traffic and there are insufficient school places nearby.

Councillor Jackie Slater (Blackburn South and Lower Darwen, Conservative) said at the meeting: “We have been proved right again. It’s jam tomorrow.

"If we were in charge, the school extension and the health centre that is receiving money to extend would be here together with this planning application.

"But as always, you have let the people down. No school, no dentist, no health practices.

“First, you obviously don’t live around here. Last week, when the traffic lights were on Goose House Lane, it was gridlock.

"The traffic plans, as always, only work between 10am and 2pm, not in the real world where the Darwen people have to get their children to school and then to work, and that is why we object to this planning application.”

READ MORE: Planned 477 homes on Darwen Moorland school set for approval

Ms Slater, speaking following the meeting, said: “Nobody is against them building houses if they have an infrastructure. It’s like the road to nowhere.

“We went on home visits to old people's homes a month ago and at the end I asked every one of them if they’d like to ask me anything.

"Every one of them said the same – we can’t get a dentist for our old people, can you help us?

“We’re just against the fact they’re building these houses and not putting any infrastructure in.”

Committee member Cllr Paul Marrow (Livesey with Pleasington, Conservative) said it was argued at the meeting about the road junctions leading into the estate.

He said: “We argued over the transport assessment and the road junctions.

"We also had concerns about when the junctions are going to get built as it’s a long-term build, you could be looking at nine or 10 years before they’re all built.

“We raised concerns about the three junctions and whether they would all be completed early on, or whether they would be staged.”

The plans were recommended for approval subject to a Section 106 agreement to secure payment of close to £3,500,000 for additional primary school places in Darwen; secondary school and special needs places across the borough; highways improvement works; and sustainable transport initiatives.

The development, on Holden Fold, will have 477 houses with public open space, landscaping, three ponds, new parking associated with the Square Meadow sports pavilion, additional parking off Knowle Lane, as well as the new junctions off Holden Fold, Moor Lane, and Roman Road.

It will be a mix of two, three, and four-bed detached, semi-detached, and terraced properties on a site which “will be developed in a way that creates its own sense of place and identity.”

There will be 101 two-bedroom properties, 247 three-bedroom properties, and 129 four-bedroom properties.