Concern raised over new affordable Barnoldswick homes

First published in News by

Concerns are being expressed over a proposal to build a large new housing development on land off Valley Road in Barnoldswick.

Earlier this month, a representative from landowner Conurbia Ltd told the West Craven Area Committee about the possibility of using the Silentnight car park and unused allotment land to build 72 two and three-bedroom affordable homes.

Conurbia owner Roger Shufflebottom said: “Affordable homes are what the town needs and what it is best suited for. Very few affordable houses have been built in Barnoldswick in the past few years.”

Cornell Group, which specialises in building affordable housing, would put forward development plans which include a 108-space car park and creating an access off Valley Road.

However, to create the access, a small strip of land has to be purchased from Pendle Council, which is seeking to declare the small embankment surplus to requirements.

But so far, the West Craven Area Committee has not agreed to declaring the land surplus to requirements.

“There are a lot of ramifications to this,” said committee chairman, Councillor David Whipp.

“If this area is to be developed, we want to make sure it is appropriate. The development could lead to a load of parking problems in the area.”

But Mr Shufflebottom, who leases part of the land to Silentnight for a 197-space car park, said the bed firm had told him it could move the car park to another location.

He also said that a potential access off Valley Road would be the best design solution for the site in the long term, but noted that there could be two or three other potential access points that would be suitable.

Coun Whipp also questioned whether affordable housing units were needed in Barnoldswick.

“If you look in Barnoldswick, we have lots of affordable housing,” he added.

“We’ve got sites such as the former Westfield Mill, off Carr Road, and the former Coates Mill, near the Coates canal bridge, where building has ground to halt. The bottom dropped out of the market and many of these sites are languishing until it picks up again.”

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