AN estate of 30 homes for families will be built in open countryside at the edge of Barnoldswick following the reluctant approval of councillors.

Almost three years after the principle of residential development on the field site off Skipton Road and Meadow Way was established by a government planning inspector, a reserved matters, fully detailed plan has been approved by the West Craven Committee of Pendle Council.

Committee chair Cllr David Whipp told a meeting in Earby yesterday (Tuesday) that he and his colleagues had fought 'tooth and nail' against the development, but the principle had been established following an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.

Councillors had since aimed to get the best possible scheme for current and future residents, he told a group of objectors and developers of the scheme, Tabley Homes, at the meeting held at the Mount Zion Baptist Chapel.

Residents near to the site, which is bordered by the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and Greenberfield Lock, the highest point of the canal, repeated concerns about planting along the boundary of the new homes, flooding risks, wildlife and a farm access.

There was also a concern about the stability of existing homes being put under threat by the building of the new properties.

Neil Watson, planning manager, responded that in his 35 years in planning, he had never known that happening, but if it did, there was legislation in place to protect residents.

Mr Watson, who recommended approval for the scheme, pointed out that there was never any intention for the planted 'buffer zone' to hide the new homes, but for it to soften what would be the transfer from urban to rural.

The development he said, would be visible still because of the topography of the site.

The committee, which had deferred making a decision on the application at its last meeting in July for further negotiations with Tabley Homes, was told that more amendments had been made to the boundary treatment, making it wider, and an extension to the pedestrian access.

At the meeting, there was further agreement from the developers that a planned wildflower planting scheme would be maintained by them for 10 years, after concerns were raised that wildflowers needed extended maintenance. It was also agreed to factor in hedgehog escape routes after a resident raised concerns about wildlife being unable to get through new fencing.

Cllr Whipp told the meeting: "It is no secret that the principle of this development is something that myself and colleagues have fought tooth and nail, but the principle has been established with outline consent.

"Between the last meeting and this, we have spent a lot of time trying to ensure the development is the best it can be."

The development will be made up of 11 three bedroom homes and 19 four bedroom homes. Some of the properties will have integral garages and others will have detached garages. All will be required to have an electric vehicle charging point and a secure, covered cycle store.

They will be built of natural stone with blue slate roofs and UPVC windows and doors.