Residents in Clitheroe turned out in force to fight a housing appeal over plans to build 345 homes and a 50-place creche in the town.
A public inquiry centring on an appeal lodged by a consortium of landowners, including Clitheroe Auction Mart, the Huntroyde Estate and John Taylor, began on Tuesday in the Ribble Valley Borough Council chamber.
It is being held after plans for the controversial development at Waddow View were rejected by councillors in February.
Members of the newly-formed Back Commons Residents’ Group, made up of people from houses closest to the proposed development, united as they arrived to present evidence to protect Clitheroe from “mass development”.
Although the council rejected planning permission, council officials, acting on the advice of its legal experts, hake taken the “difficult decision” not to contest the appeal.
Speaking outside the council chamber, Back Commons resident Mr John Poulson said: “We feel let down by the council and are having to fight this appeal on behalf of local residents.
“We do not think the experts fully understand life in Clitheroe and how mass development will effect us and therefore we will keep fighting this until we are heard.”
There was support from Coun. Mary Robinson, leader of Clitheroe Town Council, who said: “If this development is given the go-ahead it will be disastrous for Clitheroe.
“It will destroy the area and will lead to traffic chaos with the significant amount of extra vehicles in an already densely populated area.
“Residents in Clitheroe have come together and are showing a united front in getting their voices heard and we, as the town council, are fully behind them and will be supporting them all the way.”
The three-day inquiry, overseen by government inspector Mr Stuart Nixon, is expected to conclude today (Thursday). It will hear evidence on planning, highways, design, flooding, ecological, landscape and visual impact issues.