A LOT has happened since work on the new Pendle Local Plan started back in 2002, and of particular significance has been the shift in policy by Elevate and the council away from the large-scale demolition of terraced houses to renovation instead.

When Gib Hall was originally proposed as one of several greenfield sites for replacement housing, the number of terraced houses earmarked for demolition ran into the thousands but now the figure is in the low hundreds and could ultimately be even lower.

The new Local Plan places great emphasis for replacement housing to be located on previously developed land, such as the large derelict mills scattered across our borough, so hopefully, as the long-overdue Housing Market Renewal project progresses, building on any greenfield land can be completely avoided.

If this is the case, I hope the council can be persuaded to eventually establish a local nature reserve on Gib Hill to benefit the local communities in Marsden and Waterside, and stop them merging.

ANDREW ASHWORTH, Bankfield House, Colne.