Plans to build four homes on green belt land have been rejected by the council.

Wayne Pohrebienyk lodged plans with Rossendale Council in October seeking to build four new two-bed homes with parking and landscaping, on a vacant garage and allotment site opposite a property in Booth Road, Stacksteads.

The planning application makes reference to Mr Pohrebienyk being aware the land is green belt, but asked Rossendale Council to consider the plans which would “improve the appearance of the street scene”.

A planning statement read: “The site is on land within the countryside designated as green belt.

“The site was previously overgrown with trees and other greenery and contained a number of timber garages.

“The land was cleared of structures and vegetation and levelled, prior to the applicant purchasing it.

“The site is currently vacant with some tree planting along its boundaries.

Lancashire Telegraph: The site on Booth RoadThe site on Booth Road (Image: Rossendale Council)

“Two parking spaces are available for each proposed dwelling, which is sufficient for two bed properties.

“The vehicular access to the site will be off Booth Road which has a 30mph speed limit.

“There is an existing dropped kerb and there are clear sight lines from the access, which is central to the site.

"Each property would have a small green space to the front and a good sized rear or side garden.

“The applicant undertook a pre-application review with the local planning authority.

“The conclusion of this report was that the construction of four new dwellings would be considered inappropriate development within the green belt, according to Paragraph 147 of the National framework.

“This was the only area in the pre-application response conclusion, that was stated as the reason that, should a full application be submitted in the future, RBC would not be likely to support.

“We feel that the assessment from RBC that this is not an infill site, could be contested.

“The pre-application response states: ‘The site is located adjacent to Booth Road in an area of green belt clearly separating the villages of Waterfoot and Stacksteads. This area of green belt functions to prevent neighbouring settlements merging into one another which is one of the purposes of green belt’.

“Although we do not dispute that the land is in the green belt between Waterfoot and Stacksteads, we do feel that the site/location of the proposed houses follows the linear nature of the existing houses on both sides of Booth Road between Stacksteads and Waterfoot.

“We would consider this piece of land as an infill plot. It is also advised that the boundary of Waterfoot and Stacksteads is some 480 metres away.

“The proposal site as it currently stands appears somewhat derelict and we feel that the addition of a small cluster of houses designed to be in keeping with the character of the area, would indeed improve the appearance of the street scene, not be detrimental to it.

“The addition of new native trees, hedging, shrubs and wildflower meadows would also improve the appearance of the site, as well as increase ecological benefits.”

The plans were thrown out by Rossendale Council at the beginning of December with planning officers citing inappropriate development with the green belt, a net loss in biodiversity, and a loss of existing trees as some of the reasons why.

A decision notice read: “The proposal would not comply with the development plan and would not improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of the area.

“There were no amendments to the scheme, or conditions which could reasonably have been imposed, which could have made the development acceptable and it was therefore not possible to approve the application.”