THE sale of farmland for new homes by a local authority has been rubber stamped.

On Thursday night Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board agreed to sell almost 14 acres of farmland it owns near a South Ribble village for housing.

The deal will pave the way for 121 new homes on land between at Branch Road and Myerscough Smithy Road, Mellor Brook.

The proposal follows an informal tender exercise which attracted the interest of 14 developers.

The senior councillors appointed Liverpool-based Prospect Homes as the preferred bidder for the site.

The land is located in the district of South Ribble Borough Council and is owned by Blackburn with Darwen Council

South Ribble planners have indicated support for a new 'village' housing development.

The land is currently used for agricultural purposes and comprises a linked series of fields contained by hedgerows and hedgerow trees.

There are field ponds at a central position on the site but otherwise the site is used for pasture.

The new estate will be a mix of housing for market sale together with affordable rent and share ownership tenures.

Prospect Homes proposed a scheme of 121 homes and presented the highest value bid.

The firm is an established housing developer which is wholly owned by the Riverside Group Limited housing association based in Liverpool.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's growth programme director will now finalise the terms of the disposal expected to complete next year.