Requests for Information from Burnley Council under the Freedom of Information Act

This is what we asked the council on Sept 5th

"Can you please supply us with electronic copies of all the legal process and consent documents by Governing Authorities / Court Decisions that have granted Burnley Borough Council the Permission / Authority in their Preferred Options Plan 2016 to move the Urban Boundary to include Green Field Sites in their development plan for new housing"

This is what we received on Sept 27th

From:- {The Freedom of Information Officer at Burnley Council who wishes to remain anonymous under the data protection act 1998}

1) Burnley wildlife conservation forums response to Hollins Cross Farm HS1/2 site development. Burnley Wildlife Conservation Forum made comments on the Hollins Cross Farm site at Issues and Options and Preferred Options Stages. Please see the two scanned documents attached.

2) All Ecological and Environmental Surveys relating to the Hollins Cross Farm Site that have been done by any Council departments The following link will access the ecological surveys undertaken by or on behalf of Burnley Borough Council in connection with the new Burnley Local Plan . These include an Ecological Asset Desktop Assessment of Local Plan Sites from 2015 and a 2013 Species Survey. I'm not sure of the extent of the 'Environmental' surveys you are referring to, but the completed surveys used in connection with the new Burnley Local Plan (other than the SHLAA notes referred to in answer to question 3 below) are available on the Council's website at:

3) Any Surveys performed by any Planning Department Staff directly employed or contracted by the Council to perform surveys on the Hollins Cross Farm Site Partly answered in 2) above. I also attach the Strategic Housing and Employment Land availability Assessment (SHLAA) notes of the SHLAA desktop and site surveys, plus a photograph we hold. The Sustainability Appraisal Reports (which involve desktop surveys of the site) for the Local Plan Issues and Options and Preferred Options stages are available through the following link:

4) A statement to say if Surveys Have been done or not done and the types of Survey on the Hollins Cross Site Yes - this is answered in 2 and 3 above. To be clear, all sites included in the draft plan are visited by staff of the Planning and Environment Section, often many times throughout a plan's development. Additional subject-specific desktop or site surveys e.g. species surveys are undertaken/ commissioned as deemed necessary.

5) A statement to say if a physical site walk over by Planning Department Staff directly employed or contracted by the Council has been done and when and the results from such a walk over of the Hollins Cross Farm Site. Yes - this is answered in 2, 3 and 4 above. The species survey was done on 16 Sep 2013.

6) All recorded communication between Burnley Borough Council and the Land Owners - Shuttleworth Estates including recorded phone transcripts, offers to buy land, intention to offer the land to developers and financial proposals / costs involved." All recorded correspondence in relation to the new Local Plan is attached. This comprises the original SHLAA submission form and the comments and covering email received on behalf of the land owner at Preferred Options stage. There are no phone transcripts.

The information below pertains to the answer in Point 1) above

Coal Authority HIGH Risk Assessment for development

This is a document from Peter Hornsby of Burnley wildLife forum who states

"HS1/2 Hollins Cross Farm Reasons for Objection The proposed new Development Boundary extends beyond the presnt Urban Boundary to incorporate this plot of land where development would result in creased Urban Sprawl into rural area with the loss of a greenfield site in attrative open countryside which is in active agricultural production and is an upland pasture habitat where the L.E.R.N assessment of Local Plan Sites June 2015 report states that species have been recorded with European NERC Act section 41 protection along with Lancs B.A.P.long list & key species & that the site is within 50 mters of Lancs. Woodland & Grassland Ecoogical Network Stepping Stone Habitat. The site is also next to the Green Infrastructure Stratergy's Towneley Park & Tinker Hill L.N.R search area."

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This endorses the facts that Hollins Cross Farm is ecologically on record with European NERC Act section 41 and L.E.R.N with recorded endangered species of flora and fauna.

Read the full document

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This document highlights how wrong Burnley Council have got their calculations for the town, there is not going to be an increase on population and so no need for the extra houses.

Please contact us if you spot an interesting Press release.

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