Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council wins appeal to retain ‘green lung’ land for residents

Published Thursday 16 February 2023 at 10:21

This week it has been ruled that a vital green open space in Blackburn will be protected for future generations following the outcome of a Planning Enforcement Inquiry – the first to be held in the borough in over two decades.

The Planning Inspectorate supported the Council’s move to protect the green space at land in Kingsley Close as a public open space for the use of local residents and wildlife.

The Council took the action on behalf of residents in line with the Council’s Local Plan.

It now means that there is a commitment to protect and maintain this valuable public open space to be enjoyed as a vital residents’ amenity.

Cllr Quesir Mahmood, Exec Member for Growth, said:

We are delighted to announce that, on our residents behalf, we have been successful in securing the green land by Kingsley Close as public open space.

It’s fantastic to see a victory and have the land rightfully named as open green space for use of the neighbouring residents, following our first planning enforcement public inquiry since 1999.

The developers now have a maximum of two months to remove the gate/fencing currently in place. During this time and after, our teams will closely monitor the site and work with the landowners to ensure the land is well looked after and remains in a neat and healthy condition.

We know how important it is to the local homeowners to have this land as nearby high-quality green space them and their families, and we’re glad the Planning Inspectorate has supported this.

Thank you to the Planning team for this successful case and the residents, Parish Council  and local Cllrs for their support.

Council Leader, Councillor Phil Riley added:

I am really pleased that we have been able to work with residents to protect this valuable ‘green lung’ in the borough.

This decision gives certainty that this land will not be developed in future and will be managed as green space for the benefit of current and future generations.

A summary of the Planning Inspectorate Decision:

  • Cease the material change of use of the land and allow unrestricted access by members of the public into the area of public open space;
  • The inspector has removed all reference to the maintenance requirements “neat and healthy condition to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority”
  • Corrections to the Title Plan.
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