Central , Monte Blackburn, c Google Earth

Monte Blackburn is planning to build 600,000 sq ft of industrial space on the site. Credit: CDP

Tory MPs call on Gove to intervene on Blackburn local plan 

Sir Jake Berry and Sara Britcliffe are bidding to block the redevelopment of a 48-acre Issa Brothers site off J5 of the M65 until concerns about the “most dangerous road in Lancashire” are addressed. 

In a letter sent to secretary of state Michael Gove, Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen, and Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn, say there are “significant flaws” in Blackburn’s recently adopted local plan, which earmarks the site for release from the Green Belt. 

The MPs’ letter states that they are supporting residents with calls to “pause” the release of a strategic employment site off J5 of the M65 from Green Belt until safety concerns around the B6232 Grane Road have been addressed. 

“The congestion in the area continues to be severe and the traffic in the village of Belthorn has reached unsustainable levels,” the letter states. 

The MPs also want to see capacity improvements made to Junction 5 of the M65. Blackburn with Darwen Council has secured £20m of government funding to carry out this work.

In November, Monte Blackburn, the development vehicle owned by the billionaire Issa Brothers lodged plans to build almost 600,000 sq ft of employment space on part of the allocation. 

Blackburn with Darwen Council adopted its local plan last month. 

A spokesperson for Blackburn with Darwen Council said that the local plan has been “rigorously inspected by the government’s planning inspectors”.

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I cycle occasionally on Grane Road, because I’m led there by the superb and extremely low traffic Broadhead Road. It can be utterly terrifying. One ride I reported 7 drivers to the police in half a mile, they were all ticketed.

One way to deal with this would be to force traffic to use the M65 and A56. It’s about 8 miles longer but the journey times are only minutes apart. The same needs to happen to Haslingden Road. Once all the through-traffic has been removed, the road will become safer. And you can also start by completing shared footways along the road’s entire length, so people have somewhere safe to walk and cycle (currently there are large parts that have no footways – unforgiveable in a walking/hiking area).

Blackburn & Darwen just have to accept the fact that not everyone wants to drive a car.

By Flixton resident

What nonsense from these two. MPs , firstly the plans do propose road improvements to assist access to the site and the surrounding area . This is just political opportunism by two MPs in marginal seats wanting to appeal to a few nimbys who live in the area and don’t want there views spoiled.i thought the current government wanted to grow the economy and should be supported a project to bring hundreds of much needed jobs to this part of Lancashire. This objection is so short sighted and will actually damage the live chances of their own constituents who would access the new jobs

By George

Since Mr Gove will have effectively signed off the Inspector’s Report it would be very perverse of him to intervene now. Moreover the plan is now in legal challenge period till March so residents and others have the opportunity if they can identify legal reasons to challenge it.

By Informed planner

@FLixtoin Resident

Making a journey 8 miles longer for many hundreds of car journeys a day adds how much CO2 to atmosphere? It defeats the idea of cycling being a greener alternative.

By Mis-Manager

You need to address all roads in Blackburn, as they are in desperate need of repairs and have been in this state for years..

By Peter

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