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May 2024

concerns over Holden Vale Development in Helmshore: What's next for Rossendale's green spaces?, Concept art for illustrative purpose - Monok

Concerns over Holden Vale development: what’s next for Rossendale’s green spaces?

In late 2021, Taylor Wimpey managed to secure permission from the Rossendale Council to construct 130 new homes on the Holden Vale site, situated south of Grane Road in Helmshore.

Grane Residents Association (GRASS) has long advocated for preserving this land, citing its importance for both people and wildlife as well as preventing flooding downstream.

The group also emphasizes that brownfield sites should be prioritized for development instead of green spaces like Holden Vale.

GRASS member Margaret Murray expressed disappointment upon learning that just three individuals at Rossendale Council have been granted the authority to approve alterations to some pre-build conditions.

without even so much as a phone call to our three elected Helmshore councillors or local residents groups

Ms Murray

Ms. Murray fears that these changes may be implemented without consultation with local residents or elected Helmshore councillors.

She also expressed concerns regarding potential traffic congestion on already strained roads, which could negatively impact the Rossendale community as a whole.

Issues that run deep

Other issues raised by GRASS include strain on local schools, healthcare facilities, and dental services, as well as the destruction of a peat wetland acting as a crucial buffer against flood water.

An alternative brownfield site for housing already existed at the former Birtwistle’s Mill before Taylor Wimpey’s proposal reached the planning committee.

A Rossendale Council spokesperson confirmed that the planning committee resolution granted approval to alter the wording of the planning conditions to the committee chairman, vice chairman, and head of planning.

Taylor Wimpey stated that the Helmshore development would offer much-needed housing with quality materials, features, and landscape work, having received approval from planning officers and other authorities after multiple consultations.

Taylor Wimpey’s cash contributions were proposed for utilization in the development of local schools, sports and recreation facilities, and new vegetation for the development site.

It would be best if all parties reach a common ground where development and sustainability can co-exist.