Pendle: plan of greenbelt houses in former farm cafe and activity center in Higham

Applicant Charles McDermott of Trail Architects, based in Perth, Scotland, is applying for planning permission for the demolition of existing buildings and construction of 12 houses on the former Roaming Roosters site in Barrowford Road, Higham, near Fence.

Objections have been raised by some people over concerns such as traffic, parking, flooding, an alleged lack of places at local schools, impact on the greenbelt and wildlife concerns.

However, others supported the plan, saying it will regenerate a redundant brownfield site and not create as much traffic as the old farm shop, cafe and activity center generated.

Stray roosters. Photo: Google

Pendle Council’s Barrowford and Western Parish Committee will discuss the application at their meeting on Wednesday November 2. Under new borough council provisions, area committees can now only make recommendations on planning applications. Decision-making powers have been removed from regional committees as part of an ongoing board reshuffle.

A report to the Barrowford area committee states: “The site of application is within the green belt. This is previously developed land outside of Fence. He has a commercial building that has been disused for a while and is deteriorating.

“Comments have been made by many parties regarding the green belt. Many revolve around the idea that the site is in a green belt and there should be no development within it.

“The nationwide planning policy restricts development in the green belt as inappropriate. Where inappropriate development is proposed, permission should only be granted if there are ‘very special planning circumstances’.

“Very special planning circumstances are not advanced with the application. The question here is whether what is proposed would affect the openness more than the existing development and if so, the development would be an inappropriate development harmful in the green belt.

“The assessment of whether the development would have a greater impact on openness must be made on the individual merits of the site and its surroundings.”

Nearby are the listed buildings of Ashlar Cottage and Lower White Lee. However, Pendle planning officials say the new development would not impact them.

With regard to the designs for the new homes, the report adds: “Applicants submitted a detailed design assessment of how the proposed design was achieved and how it was influenced by other designs in the region. The designs are simple and reflect what can be found elsewhere in the borough. They are a visual improvement over what is currently on the site and there are no design objections. »

The proposed housing scheme would have a larger overall cubic volume but is not concentrated in one location and has less unique ‘mass’ effect on the site.

Overall, Pendle Council planning officers recommend that consent be delegated to them, subject to receiving satisfactory drainage information from the applicant.

Other planning applications for the area committee to consider include the use of a livestock farm building at Tower Farm, Gisburn Road, Blacko; and front and rear dormer windows and a rear extension at 22 Stone Edge Road, Barrowford. Both are recommended for refusal.

Separately, a request for a two-storey, one-storey side extension to Harpers House, Harpers Lane, Fence; and the conversion and extension of an outbuilding to create a house at 147 Wheatley Lane Road, Barrowford, are both recommended for approval.


Due to ongoing changes at Pendle Council, area committees can now only comment on planning applications rather than making formal decisions.

Pendle Council creates a new central planning committee to deal with all requests in the future. However, until the size and remit of the new planning committee are fully defined and formally constituted, planning decisions are made by all borough councilors at full council meetings.

The removal of planning decision-making from regional committees has been controversial among some people. Labor and Lib-Dem councilors opposed the move, saying it removes local input from regional councillors, residents, parish and town councils. They argue that good planning decisions and commitment come from the regional committee system. They are also concerned about the number of councilors involved in the new planning committee and the ability to “call” applications for further consideration.

However, ruling Conservative councilors have said regional committees have made inconsistent planning decisions, leaving the borough open to planning appeals and potential costs, and councilors sitting on regional committees are vulnerable to local pressure from local voters. . Proponents of the reshuffle also say planning should be handled more effectively by a central committee, as part of a broader plan to transform Pendle Council’s business. Residents and other parish or municipal organizations will still be able to speak at future planning committee meetings, which could be held at different locations, the curators said.

The Barrowford & Western Parishes Area Committee meets at Holmefield House, Barrowford at 7pm on Wednesday 2 November.

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