CONTROVERSIAL proposals to build four new family homes in a village farmyard have been approved despite concerns about overdevelopment.

Blackburn with Darwen Council Planning Committee granted permission for the scheme in Chapeltown on the West Pennine Moors on Thursday night.

The land already had approval for two large homes and the latest application by Mark McBriar had been withdrawn from last month's meeting for further work with council officials.

The go-ahead was given despite 17 objections from nearby residents, North Turton Parish Council, and local councillor Colin Rigby.

The West Pennine ward Tory said: "There are too many properties for the size of the land. This is overdevelopment.”

His concerns were echoed by Conservative planning spokesman Cllr Paul Marrow who said: "The applicant has tried putting too much into too smaller an area. He has tried cramming four houses into a site that it's really not fit for. It would have been better as two."

Blackburn South and Lower Darwen Tory Cllr Jacquie Slater: "This development is overkill. The original two would have been fine. This is just plain greedy."

A report by planning officers said: "The proposals seek to develop an infill plot.

"It comprises part of the former farmyard area of Meadowcroft Farm, which is now redundant since the farming enterprise relocating to Green Arms Road.

"It historically had farm buildings occupying the southern part, which were removed in 2017.

"The revised proposals are a significant improvement to those initially proposed and whilst officers acknowledge the concerns raised by ward councillor Colin Rigby and surrounding residents that the proposals result in the over-development of the site, there are no relevant planning policies which prevent this..

"With the revised siting of the plots, along with conditions requiring obscure glazing to some first floor habitable rooms and rooflights it is considered that the amendments have minimised the impact of the proposals on the amenity of surrounding residents."

Mr McBriar told the meeting: "We bought this land a few years ago.

"From the outset we did not believe the approved scheme didn't actually complement the village and thought our scheme of more affordable family homes would probably fit better.

"We have spent many many hours with the planning officers to come up with a scheme which we believe works better and potentially offers local expanding families the opportunity to stay local."

Committee chairman Dave Smith said: "I think this is a much better application. Officers have put in a lot of time and effort to make this development viable."