Inspector’s post-hearings letter now published

Green Belt fields in Edenfield after silage making

The Inspectors’ post hearings letter mentioned in our last update now been published on the Council website.

EL6.017a Post Hearing Letter | Rossendale Borough Council

It is not good news for Edenfield. The Inspectors have provisionally accepted the Council’s position that there are exceptional circumstances to justify the release of Green Belt land for development and so the 456 houses allocated to Edenfield in the Plan will be unchanged. The Forum has long argued that there is no need to release Green Belt for development as there are more than enough brownfield and greenfield sites available in the Borough. We have supported our arguments with an enormous amount of detail but all of this seems to have been ignored.

The letter also specifically mentions Housing Allocation H72 which covers the three sites west of Market Street with a total allocation of 400 houses. There is an acknowledgment that there are issues related to heritage, schooling and highways but that these can be addressed when the Plan is updated. These are all issues raised by the Forum in our representations on the Plan so we await the proposals.

Needless to say we are extremely disappointed with the Inspector’s comments but the fight is far from over and we are now exploring how best to continue our challenge to the proposed over-development of Edenfield

The Council have also published “Potential Compensation Measures for Green Belt Release” which includes proposed measures to compensate Edenfield should a lot of land in the village be released from Green Belt for development. There is a public consultation on this document which ends on 28th July.

Both of these documents and other information related to the Local Plan can also be accessed through the Local Examination page on the Council website:

Local Plan Examination | Emerging Local Plan | Rossendale Borough Council

Update on Forum activities – 8th September 2020

Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan

Following the consultation with residents and businesses on 29th February and subsequent consultations with non-resident landowners, the draft Neighbourhood Plan was updated to incorporate relevant comments received. The revised draft Plan was then sent to Rossendale Council in early April for their comments and also for them to undertake a screening assessment as required under environmental regulations. We are still awaiting both the comments and the screening assessment although we anticipate receiving them during September. Once we have received the Council’s screening assessment and comments we will be able to finalise the Regulation 14 version of the Plan which will go to a formal public six-week consultation. We had hoped that this consultation would take place by July but the delay in receiving responses from the Council now means that it will be much later in the year.

Rossendale Draft Local Plan

At the conclusion of the Examination Hearings in October 2019 the Inspectors issued a Schedule of Actions of over 80 items for the Council to respond to. It was agreed that the Council would respond to these by May of this year – but that was before coronavirus struck. On 18th June the first batch of responses was published on the Council’s website which covered fourteen of the Inspectors’ requests and by 31st August there have been no further responses. The latest information published on the Council website on 1st September states that “additional items are anticipated in the current month with a series of consultation exercises to relevant parties anticipated thereafter”.
All announcements and documents can be viewed on the Council’s website:

The timetable issued by the Council in January anticipated that the Inspectors’ final report would be issued in November but, with the delays, it is now more than likely that this will go into next year.
The responses issued on 18th June included some that relate to the proposals for Edenfield and the Forum has been reviewing these in detail in readiness for any future consultation. We will review the remaining responses as they are published.

We have had a meeting with our MP, Jake Berry, who remains very supportive. Jake subsequently wrote to the Inspectors and the Council with details of some of our major concerns providing summary comments that we felt had not been fully addressed at the Hearings. The inspectors responded and both letters have been posted on the Council website (Examination Library documents EL6.012a and EL6.012b). We hope that our information will now get fully considered. Jake also submitted questions to the Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government).

We have concerns with some of Highways England’s statements on the proposed developments in Edenfield particularly some of the technical aspects. We engaged our highways consultants, SK Transport Planning Ltd, to write to Highways England detailing our concerns. This letter and subsequent correspondence has been posted in the Examination Library 6 on the Council website under reference EL6.013a-e.

Ground surveyors at work in Edenfield again

Taylor Wimpey’s surveyors have been working in Edenfield again on the ground to the west of Market Street. These pictures, taken on 16th July 2019 were shared with ECNF by a concerned resident who is opposed to Rossendale Borough Council’s plans to remove these fields from the green belt and allow 456 additional homes to be built in Edenfield.

Ground surveyors working to the west of Market Street last week

These photographs were sent to ECNF by a concerned resident last week after he spotted the surveyors working on the fields again last week.

The ground is being surveyed for Taylor Wimpey for their proposed housing development on this green belt land. The development is dependent on the reclassification of the land by Rossendale Borough Council and is opposed by ECNF. ECNF is working on an alternative local plan for Edenfield based on more sustainable development.

Spring Quiz

ECNF will be holding a Spring Quiz at the Community Centre on Exchange Street on Saturday 27th April starting at 7.30pm (doors open at 7.00pm).

The entry fee of £8 includes a Meat and Potato Pie supper with mushy peas.

For details, please see the flyer below:

ECNF Spring Quiz


Many Thanks to all those who have donated to our village wide appeal launched in October 2018 for funds to help with the costs of continuing to challenge Rossendale Council’s housing proposals for Edenfield. The potential effect of these proposals is to allow 400+ houses to be built on the land between Market Street and the A56 bypass. The next stage of the process is for the Council to submit their proposals to an independent Planning Inspector. The Inspector’s consideration of these proposals will include an “Examination in Public” which is likely to be in June 2019.

The appeal for funds, including unspent donations/other funds already held at the start of the appeal has, to the end of February 2019, generated about 50% of the target sought.

Further funds are therefore still needed and, if you wish to help, donations can be made in any of the following ways;-

  • Cheque made payable to “Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum” delivered/sent to the Treasurer at 123, Market Street, Edenfield, BL0 0JJ.
  • Payment direct to the Edenfield Community Neighbourhood Forum account at Nat West Bank Sort Code 01-01-42 Account 26141914.
  • Monthly Standing Order of say £7 to £13 paid to the account as above over a fixed period of say 6 to 12 months.

Note that in the unlikely event that all funds raised are not spent on representation before the Planning Inspector any surplus will be used to support the production/development of the Edenfield Neighbourhood Plan being produced by ECNF in accordance with the provisions of the Localism Act 2011 and which will be the subject of a public consultation and a local referendum in the near future. 

ECNF response to Rossendale Council’s Draft local plan

The Forum’s comprehensive representations regarding the local plan for Rossendale have been submitted to Rossendale Borough Council by our planning consultants, Troy Planning and Design.

Our key points are:

  • The choice of Edenfield as a major site for development is flawed
  • There is insufficient regard to the importance of Green Belt
  • There is no evidence to justify the release of land from Green Belt
  • There are sufficient brownfield sites available for development in the Borough
  • There is a failure to address infrastructure issues particularly in relation to highways

The detailed report runs to 66 pages in total and now that it has been submitted to the council, we are pleased to reproduce it here. Thank you to all of our supporters and financial donors who have helped and continue to help us in our struggle to protect our environment.

To view the report, please click the link below:
Rossendale-Reg-19-Local-Plan-ECNF (pdf)