A controversial housing development has begun construction following council approval, which will see 165 homes being built on a gateway site in Blackburn.

Housebuilder Bovis Homes is building two, three, four and five-bedroom homes, at the Sunnybower site in Whalley Old Road, and work began on Saturday, March 9.

Sunnybower Meadow will see 132 new homes built, with prices from £267,000 for a three-bedroom semi-detached home.

An additional 33 homes will also be available through affordable housing partner, Together Housing.

Lancashire Telegraph: Generated image of Whalley Old Road housing developmentGenerated image of Whalley Old Road housing development (Image: Bovis Homes)

Situated two miles outside the town centre in Whalley Old Road, Bovis Homes said Sunnybower Meadow will bring “much-needed energy efficient homes to Blackburn”.

However, the development is not without controversy as last month a road safety row broke out over the plan.

In November 2022, councillors approved the housing estate on 20 acres of open green space south of Whalley Old Road.

The granting of permission with conditions by Blackburn with Darwen Council planning committee was opposed by some councillors, who expressed concern over the ability of Whalley Old Road to handle the extra traffic that would result from the housebuilding by Vistry Partnerships.

The Sunny Bower Community Group formed to oppose the development submitted an objection to the meeting, which said: "We firmly believe the current layout of the proposed development along with the proposed access points and road narrowing should be revised."

READ MORE: New road safety row breaks out over controversial housing estate

However, the homes were given the go ahead.

Gemma Hardy, managing director, Vistry Merseyside and Cheshire West, said: “We are excited to launch our first Bovis development in Blackburn and partner with Together Housing to offer a range of properties to meet purchasers’ needs.

“Sunnybower Meadow will present local buyers and those moving from further afield with plenty of opportunities to find the home that’s right for them.

“From two-bedroom up to five-bedroom homes, we’re looking forward to creating a thriving community and seeing purchasers choose to call Sunnybower Meadow home.”

Antony Ward, director for development at Together Housing, added: “We’re thrilled to be working with Bovis Homes to deliver another high-quality development in Blackburn.

“The 33 properties, which we’re delivering as shared ownership, will align with the high standard of homes being built on this site but come at a more affordable price to further diversify the property market for people in the local area.”