The sale of land in Blackburn by the Council to allow the development of 650 houses

THE council’s delayed sale of 2.86 acres of open land to enable a 650-unit housing estate development is now set to go ahead.

The land at Heys Lane, Blackburn, represents a small portion of 101 acres of residential development land at Bank Hey, which is currently in multiple ownership.

The site provides an access point to the Bank Hey development site, which is earmarked for housing.

The master plan for the area estimates that 315 houses will be built by 2026, with the potential for another 335 later, bringing the total number to 650.

In March 2021, Blackburn with advice from Darwen cleared work to start assembling a plot with private owners in preparation for the sale.

Now the borough’s growth boss, Cllr Quesir Mahmood, has signed the final deal.

In a report to his fellow councillors, he said: “I approve the commencement of the land appropriation and disposition process for the Heys Lane land comprising 2.86 acres.

“Noting that the land is generally open space, I authorize the Deputy Director of Legal Affairs and Governance to release the proposal.

“The master plan for the area estimates that 315 homes will be built by 2026, with the potential for an additional 335 homes beyond that date, bringing the total number of residential properties to 650.

“The Bank Hey development site is 101.85 acres and is multi-ownership. Council site proportion is calculated at 2.8%.

“The proposed appropriation of open space requires the council to advertise the proposal twice in two consecutive weeks in a newspaper circulating in the area in which the land is located, and to consider any objections.

“The council has combined its site with other private landowners to maximize the development potential of the site.

“If the transaction is not completed, the council will retain land with low amenity or use value when considered in isolation.

“The divestiture of the wider Bank Hey development site will make a significant contribution to meeting the council’s housing delivery targets.

‘Without the release of free space for the purposes of land ownership, residential development on the commons will not progress and result in the loss of capital revenue to the council.’