GOVERNMENT bosses have thrown out an appeal to allow more than 120 new homes.
Developers Windmill Rise SPV had appealed to the Planning Inspectorate after Hyndburn Council’s planning committee refused permission for 122 new homes at Devine Fisheries in Broad Oak Road, Accrington.
And now the appeal has been dismissed, with a Government-appointed inspector backing the council’s decision to refuse the application.
Planning committee members voted to turn down permission for the controversial scheme, between Baxenden and Accrington, on the grounds of access and impact on the countryside.
Borough planners say the development does not meet criteria set out in Hyndburn’s development plan.
Chief planning and transportation officer, Simon Prideaux, said: “The council believes that the proposed development would, by virtue of its location and access arrangements, result in an unsustainable form of development that would have am unacceptable adverse impact on the character and appearance of this area of countryside."
In a report detailing her decision to dismiss the appeal, inspector Katie McDonald said: "The effect of the proposal upon the character and appearance of the area would be adverse and harmful.
"The elongated and extended length of the access, loss of trees and the dispersed, yet relatively dense nature of development projecting into the undeveloped rural area would not be well integrated with the existing settlement pattern, nor would it maintain or reinforce the clear distinction between the urban edge and rural areas.
"The proposal would be located outside the urban area of the borough and it would be contrary to the locational principles of the development plan.
"Furthermore, there would be harm to the character and appearance of the area and the proposal would not provide adequately for sustainable travel. All these matters would conflict with the development plan and collectively, they attract substantial weight against the development.
"Additionally, there would be less than substantial harm to the significance of heritage assets. I am unsatisfied that the site could be developed effectively once the odour and noise reports have assessed the effect and been accounted for. Lastly, I am concerned about the likely out of date ecology reports and lack of assessment of the river habitat.
"The provision of affordable housing is of significant weight, and there are other material considerations that attract moderate weight. But even so, these would not outweigh the harm arising from the substantial conflict with the locational and other policies in the development plan. Nor would the harm to the heritage assets be outweighed by the public benefits.
"Therefore, on balance, it is my view that the material considerations would not indicate a decision other than in accordance with the development plan."
An application for costs to be awarded against the council was also dismissed by the inspector.