ONE of Barrow's largest housing developments in recent years is set to go ahead after a planning battle.

A total of 142 new homes will be built across two fields at the corner of Dalton Lane, Abbey Road and Breast Mill Beck Road.

Barrow Council refused the plan but its decision was overruled by a planning inspector on appeal.

At a meeting in the town hall yesterday, its planning committee was asked by developers Oakmere Homes to agree finer details of the new estate.

Charles Wilton, Barrow council’s principal planning officer, said the site covered over 30 acres.

“That makes it one of the biggest developments that has been approved for a long time," he said.

"The council’s view has been that the land should have been retained as countryside."

Objector Paul Littlewood complained of a loss of 590m of hedgerow - some of which had been “unchanged” since the mid-19th century.

Mr Littlewood said: “In the last 15 years of over 100,000 miles of hedgerow has been destroyed in the UK and this has to stop.”

He criticised the lack of “carbon neutral” measures in the new houses and said there should have been more emphasis on sustainable energy and heating.

“By not looking at future requirements it amounts to ignoring all the recent forecasts regarding climate change and the need to address carbon emissions now and not 10 to 15 years time when it will be too late,” said Mr Littlewood.

Fellow objector Shaun McKenna, of The Crescent, which looks onto the site, said it would be “overbearing".

He believed it contravened policies and that some of the drawings submitted by the developer were "30 years out of date".

Abigail Kos, of planning consultants Smith Love, spoke in favour on behalf of Oakmere Homes and called it a “high quality” development.

She said the appeal decision had established the "principle" of the homes being allowed there.

Mr Wilton said hedgerows lost would be replaced on a one-to-one basis with important hedgerows replaced on a two-for-one basis.

Cllr Ann Thomson, deputy chairwoman of the planning committee, said the council had tried to encourage more eco measures in new housing.

“It’s not us, it’s the Housebuilders’ Federation. As soon as you try to do anything innovative with housebuilding, they are on it like a shot. Write to them and ask why are they obstructing local authorities in green issues," she said.

The plans were agreed.