A LONG-delayed sheltered estate of 35 bungalows for the elderly is set to go ahead within weeks after a row over a legal agreement for road maintenance was settled.

In February last year Burnley Council's development control committee approved the £3million scheme on the cleared site of the former Dexter Paints site on Gannow Lane close to the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

But it insisted on the specialist construction firm behind it, J and P Nixon Builders of Bilsborrow, signing a Section 106 legal agreement with Lancashire County Council over the future management and maintenance of the internal road layout.

Company boss John Nixon said after the meeting that unless the condition was dropped the estate would never be built.

He had told councillors that he had a 'passion' for constructing such estates for residents aged 55 and over and already had 207 applications for the bungalows but that he preferred to keep the roads on his developments private so access to the public, including teenagers, was controlled.

The committee voted to approve the scheme subject to the agreement being signed by Mr Nixon despite reservations from Coal Clough and Deerplay Liberal Democrat Cllr Gordon Birtwistle.

But now a new planning application has been approved by Burnley Council with the controversial agreement dropped.

Darrell Stockburn, a director of Mr Nixon's agent Avalon Town Planning of Shuttleworth Mead Business Park said: "A new application has been approved and the problem has been resolved.

"Burnley Council has accepted the firm's management plan for the internal road network.

"Mr Nixon is now definitely going ahead with the development.

"Work will start in the next two or three weeks and he hopes to have it completed within six months."

The proposed bungalows will be two-bedroom, with a separate living room, kitchen, bathroom and dining/health care room.

All would have a car parking space and they are planned in three terraced groups around a central access road.

Occupancy will be restricted to residents aged 55 and over.

J and P Nixon are responsible for several similar developments in and around Burnley notably at Weaver’s Fold on the site of the former Peel Mill further up Gannow Lane.

Cllr Birtwistle said after the approval was confirmed: "I am absolutely delighted.

"There is a desperate need for this type of development for the elderly in Burnley.

"Mr Nixon builds excellent properties.

"I have friends who live on Weavers Fold and it is really good and really comfortable."