"Coal Clough and Deer Play" Residents Anger
as Burnley Councils Plans
To Destroy Green Field Site.
Residents in the Deer Play and Coal Clough Wards are up in arms with Burnley Borough Council. The Council Plans for 2016-2032 include the moving of the Urban Boundary to allow development of some 210+ "Luxury Homes" on the Hollins Cross Farm Green Field Side off WoodPlumpton Road, Glen View Road and New Road.
It is the feeling of the Residents that the Council has failed to inform them in a correct manner of their intentions to move the boundary and pass planning permission on this Green Field Sites.
When challenged by local residents the Council claim they advertised it on the council website along with a "Consultation Period". The Consultation Period was advertised as 15/07/2016 to 26/08/2016, conveniently coinciding with the six week School Holiday ensuring that a minimum opposition would be in town and available to contest their plans. The Residents feel that Council also kept the advertisement of their intentions to move the Urban Boundary low key and also the "Drop in Consultation Venues" where the public could see their plans were again also only advertised on the Council's difficult to navigate Website.
The residents of Coal Clough and Deer Play only found out about the Council's long term plans by sheer chance from a small piece in the Burnley Express at the beginning of July 2016, also the information regarding the dates and times of the Drop in consultation Venues.
Councilor Gordon Birtwistle had to hurriedly go street to street and house to house informing the residents who were not away on holiday with their children and let them know about the Drop in Consultation Venue at the Methodist Church on Cog Lane. Over 100 people descended on the Methodist Church on Cog Lane to be met by Council representatives who were tasked with the proposed schemes, none of whom live in the areas affected by the proposed house building schemes that the Council wish to impose on the local residents.
This "Drop in Session" was a complete waste of time as the planning staff on hand had no idea of local issues (they were from out of town), site specifics or any investigatory searches that may or may not have been done on the proposed site of Hollins Cross Farm, let alone any of the other sites proposed in Burnley. In essence they had just drawn "Red Lines" around a number of areas of land that has been offered up by the land owners.
In the opinion of the residents this whole clandestine development plan has been engineered from start to finish in an extremely covert manner and at NO time has the Council mailshotted or leaflet dropped any residents informing them of impending planning proposals.
If a resident wished to apply for planning permission to extend a Kitchen or build a new Garage it would be a requirement of them to inform neighbours and local residents and a there is a mandatory requirement of putting up Planning Application Notices on Lamp posts, trees and walls adjacent to the intended site for development. When a council tax demand is made or the electoral list needs to be updated a letter is set to every resident, why not the 16 year proposed plan for Burnley ?
The Hollins Cross Farm local residents in the Deer Play and Coal Clough area have submitted a 40 page highly detailed Opposition Document to the Council with requests for information on the reasons why the council think that the Hollins Cross Farm site is suitable for development. The Local Residents have asked the Council to Publish On-line the Hollins Cross Farm Opposition Document so everyone can see how damaging to the Local environment the development of this Green Field site will be.
In fact the moving of the Urban Boundary for the development of New Properties at this site will be catastrophic for Burnley.
A recent calculation from a local resident on Wilkie Avenue shows -
"The rain fall that fell on Burnley on Boxing Day last Christmas, the met office states we had 178 millimeters of rain that day. An area the size of Hollins Cross Farm some 180,000 sq metres had 3.204 million liters of water fall on it. That's 32,040 tons of water!!
Its simple math's and hydrology.
Most of this water is being trapped by soaking into the site. If this water is allowed to become free flowing from the hillside, drainage systems will be overwhelmed and Burnley Center will be flooded the same as happens to Padiham now. The substation next to Tesco will be put out of action Shops, Offices and the Police Station all without power and it will cost £0000's to repair.
The Hollins Cross Farm site works as a natural free flood defense as it stands today.
I've forwarded to both the council, local plan and MP the same info.
It's simply not safe to build on the site sending thousands of tons of extra water towards the town."
Within the Opposition Document are the reasons why the local residents know the Hollins Cross Farm Site to unfit for development, all aspects of the Opposition Document have been thoroughly researched and all statements are supported by factual based evidence.
The Residents have emailed Mark Townsend, Sue Graham and the MP Julie Cooper asking that ALL the valid requests for information are made public and as yet have met with Procedural Mumbo Jumbo emails stating that the "Comments" in this document will be "Considered" - the term considered to the "The Residents" does not instill any confidence that the Council who are elected by the People have any intention of providing "Expert Based Investigatory Research" into ALL the questions.
The residents hope that this is more than just a case of the Council paying "Lip Service".
The Residents have asked the council to reply to over 40 requests in the Opposition Document to see what Surveys the Council have done as part of their due diligence process in establishing what evidence they have obtained that The Hollins Cross Farm site should be considered by the council to be viable for construction.
It would be expected that the various reports referred to in the Opposition Document will have been already obtained and thoroughly reviewed before coming to such a conclusion. We would therefore require the council to confirm these findings from these reports and to substantiate the decision that has led to considering the land as a suitable construction location.
An overview of The Hollins Cross Farm Development Opposition Document shows that the site:-
Has been designated as an area of "Natural Beauty" and that the council has not yet provided any information of Surveying the Site or employed Experts from Defra or the JNCC to inspect for flora, fauna, insects, moths, butterflies, bees, ladybirds, voles, newts or more importantly bats or any such animals that are on the UK protected/endangered lists inhabiting the fields and surrounding areas that could be compromised by building on this land in accordance with -The legislative provisions in Great Britain for the protection of wild plants are contained primarily in the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, Section 13.
In fact the Hollins Cross farm site is home to Bats, Badgers, Foxes, Rabbits, Deer, and various species of Owl, Kestrels, Sparrow Hawk, Merlin, Curlews and other protected Birds of Prey that are all regularly seen in the fields. The proposed development area is a feeding area in the wetlands and marshes for Bats which have protection of their feeding grounds under law.
The Hollins Cross Farm Site is also designated by The Coal Authority as a High Risk Development Area due to "Shallow Mine Workings", all this information is available online and The Coal Authority state that it should not be built on or developed. The upshot of ignoring the Coal Authority again will endanger present local housing by the disturbance of Shallow Mine workings, leading to subsidence of existing housing by the disturbance of water courses that are redirected into quesant mine workings by pilling for new house foundations. Insurance costs for existing Residents will be increased (or they may be refused insurance), house prices will drop (existing residents may not be able to sell their houses) due to subsidence. Sink Holes will become of greater risk and toxic mine water and gasses will be released into the water table, streams and downstream rivers and waterways that feed into local conservation areas.
The Hollins Cross Farm site is also Home to a large polulation of Bats that inhabit and feed in the Marsh / Wetlands of the site. These Bats are protected and so are the Bats feeding grounds, the Council have been informed and also the local Bat Groups have been made aware of the destruction of the Bats Habits by this proposal.
The Hollins Cross Farm site has a number of water courses, natural springs and cisterns that feed local Farms and surrounding properties that will all be damaged by development, these feed downstream into waterways and rivers and also the large Pond on the Site that is home to Waterfowl, Mallards and Moor Hens all of which are protected under the Wildlife Act. Disruption of the natural water flow of the hillside will be an Ecological disaster to the wildlife and again show how Profit is put before nature.
At present the residents of Wilkie Avenue are plagued with flooding any further disruption to the natural water flow on the hillside by building all these new houses will compound the flooding issues even more by removing the natural soakage of the exposed hillside. In fact the building of houses on Wilkie Avenue was halted some 30+ years ago due to the houses sinking in the marsh and wetland area adjacent to Wilkie Avenue.
Building 210+ houses on the Hollins Cross Farm Site will mean that 400+ extra cars will be trying to access New Road, Woodplumpton Road, Glen View Road, Manchester Road and Rossendale Road these main arterial routes in and out of Burnley are already Grid Locked at peak hours and this will add traffic to the "Rat Runs" in the bordering housing estates.
These "Rat Runs" are at present a danger to children, pedestrians in general and cyclists so this will only compound the present traffic crisis. There does not seem to be any information on any traffic management surveys, studies or planned infrastructure schemes available from the Council.
There are no guaranteed plans already in place to improve the local infrastructure by the Council, all they say is when it is needed the Council will ask Lancashire County Council to provide these. We all know the answer to this will be that Lancashire County Council will plead poverty and say they have a budget for £10,000,000 this year for the WHOLE of Lancashire for the roads, well £10million would just about cover filling in the "potholes" around Burnley after the last winter.
Burnley Council intend to build 3000+ houses in Burnley - the Council could stand to make on average £10,000 / house from government grants if these grants are still in place. Central Government could withdraw these grants at any time, so it would be good to know what Burnley Council have got in mind or if they are relying on this money to prop up any new schemes. The Residents would like to know what they intend to do with this money should they obtain their "Crock of Gold".
3000 new houses, this equates to 12,000 more people in the area, they have NO plans passed to build school places for the 6000+ children that these houses will bring, NO planned Doctors / Dentist surgeries, NO planned new A&E or hospital services for Burnley General, NO planned increase in Social Services support for these 3000 families, NO planned infrastructure improvements ( They have to go "Cap in Hand" to Lancashire County Council for everything ), these 3000+ house will bring 6000 more cars onto Burnleys already Jammed roads, NO Plans to build parking spaces in the town or Park and ride or better bus services.
At present we do not have enough employment to meet the needs of our local populous, but the rumour is that these "New Houses" are to attract the "Manchester Yuppie" to buy lower cost (In their Eyes) houses in Burnley and commute to Manchester for work.
Why would a Young Manchester Professional family live in Burnley when Stockport, Didsbury, Aldery Edge and such places have far more qudos and appeal and property values appreciate far faster in South Manchester and better Trains into and out of the City center.
Why would they come to Burnley when we have a Train station that has NO Parking, Access to the M65 that would take 2 hours to get into Manchester due to the traffic congestion, No school places, No Hospital A&E, No high end shopping outlets and the list goes on.
And in a greener society 6000 more vehicles for "Young Manchester Professionals" will mean more "Chelsea Tractors" on our roads ferrying privileged children to Whalley / Clitheroe schools and Stoneyhurst College when they find there are no descent schools closer to Burnley this then will pollute our town and countryside even more with car emissions.
In Burnley and surrounding areas we have houses already being built at Duke Bar / Barden lane, opposite Padiham Police station and Oxford Road to name 3 - these houses are far from sold out and they are having to reduce the price of these houses to attract buyers,
There are still large areas of Brownfield land still undeveloped where the council should be building sustainable housing for local residents to gain a foothold on the property ladder, we have rows and row of empty terraced houses available to refurbish 1000's to be precise.
The council could compulsory purchase these houses turn 2 terraced houses in to one house giving 3 good size bedrooms, large bathroom and 2 reception rooms and create small town gardens at the back for kids to play in, this provides low cost housing, that the council should then provide "rent to buy schemes" to enable young couples to get on the housing market.
Refurbishing these houses would create employment and training schemes / apprentices for tradesmen such as builders, carpenters, plasterers, plumbers, electricians and roofers.
We need to redevelop from the inside and stop our communities from leaving the town in search of better prospects. Creating a vibrant skilled workforce locally will attract business to the area and promote investment, not building £250,000 - £350,000 Yuppie Houses in Rural hard to access areas with no infrastructure to support them.
Read more .....