THE regeneration of Burnley Wood has received a significant boost after the first major development in the area was granted planning permission.

Councillors approved the scheme to build 121 houses around Branch Road, Oxford Road and Clarence Street, which would include knocking down 85 houses.

The move has been hailed as a major development for the area, with plans to completely transform housing in Burnley Wood.

Both English Heritage and CABE, the Government’s advisers on architecture and urban design, had concerns about the development.

Coun Frank Cant said he backed the scheme but was concerned it was being rushed through, with developers Keepmoat needing planning permission before the end of the financial year to secure Government funding.

He said: “I do feel that the application is rushed and the concerns of CABE and English Heritage have not been fully addressed.

“I am happy to be supporting the applicat-ion but with reservations.”

The scheme will feature a mix of two, three and four bedroom units with 24 affordable homes.

Keepmoat met some of CABE and English Heritage’s concerns by reducing the size and number of parking courts and introducing more on-street parking.

The development will also feature a crescent near Brunswick Street at the space in front of St Stephen’s Church.

Coun Peter McCann said: “This application has been a long time coming and residents will welcome it.

“Burnley Wood has been an eyesore for a long, long time now.”

Coun Anne Kelly, who chairs the development control committee, said: “This is something people have been working tow-ards for a very long time.

“It is a significant development for the area.”

Work on the housing is set to begin in April or May next year.