A NEW development of 118 houses in Burnley Wood will be the catalyst to kick-start the transformation of the area, according to a local councillor.

Keepmoat Homes has submitted a planning application to Burnley Council to knock down 98 vacant terrace houses in Branch Road, Oxford Road, and Clarence Street, and build a selection of houses and apartments.

Burnley Wood councillor Karen Heseltine said that residents were excited at the prospect, despite an initial fear.

She said: “When we first heard what Keepmoat was planning, people were worried.

"They had proposed a main thoroughfare and I thought that it would be used as a rat-run.

“I’m also a traditionalist, and I was worried that the new builds wouldn’t fit in with the old stone, two-up-two-downs we have in Burnley Wood.

“But the developers have now taken these things into consideration and come back with new plans.

"They have now re-thought the main road, decided to have traffic calming in, and will be using materials that are in keeping with the surroun-ding areas.

“I’m pretty impressed with them, and public opinion has shifted about 360 degrees.”

It is expected that the houses will have gardens, with a mixture of three and four bedrooms.

There will also be a set of one-bedroom apartments.

And Coun Heseltine added: “Burnley Wood has not got a good name, and all too often people don’t want to look at housing here.

“But I think this will be the uplift this community needs. People have had enough and it’s time to change.

“Now the plans are on the table, the local community can visualise what is going to be there.

“And they are glad that the eyesore houses will be gone.”