Senior councillors have authorised work to begin on a new 1,500 home development in north-east Blackburn.

They have authorised the preparation of a masterplan for the 241 acre site in Brownhill and Roe Lee.

Blackburn with Darwen Council's executive board meeting on Thursday approved the appointment of expert consultant Stantec Inc. to prepare the blueprint for the development.

The North-East Blackburn Strategic Housing Site Masterplan covers land bounded by the A6119 (Brownhill Drive) to the west and includes land between Belvedere/East Lancs Road to the north, Whalley Old Road to the south, and up to the borough boundary in the east.

In the recently adopted Blackburn with Darwen Local Plan 2021-2037, this 97.52 hectare site is earmarked as a strategic site for housing.

The development aims to deliver around 1,500 high-quality homes with a local centre / community hub.

Public consultations will take place as part of the master planning process during 2024, and will continue through the submission of an outline planning application in early 2025.

Building work expected to start by 2026.

The site is in the ownership of eight different landowners including the council which possesses 45 per cent of the site.

The report to the executive board says: "The North East Blackburn Strategic Housing Site allocation is identified as one of the six key ideas in the new Local Plan, forming a central part of the overall housing strategy.

"The scale and location of the strategic urban extension enables provision of high-quality homes to be brought forward, to significantly help diversify the local housing offer, and support development of a new sustainable community."

Blackburn with Darwen Council leader Cllr Phil Riley told the meeting: "This is a big, big new project.

"I am pleased to report that a lot of it is in my Roe Lee ward."