A CONTROVERSIAL plan to build a concrete batching plant still looms over a Furness village after the deadline for a decision was pushed back.

The plan for the plant at Ore Mill Sidings near Lindal has been dogged from the outset by furious opposition from residents, who claim it threatens to destroy the character of the village.

An application has been submitted to South Lakeland District Council by L&W Wilson in Endmoor. Now Highways England, which has been consulted about the plan, has asked for more time to submit comments on the impact the development will have on the local road network.

The issue relates to the A590 and the problems that would stem from heavy traffic entering and exiting the batching plant.

Highways England has been assessing the road in order to determine if there would be a negative impact on the road.

The developer has previously submitted a document to the council saying Highways England had no objections to the policy. But those opposed to the plan say the government body has not taken into account the route management plan for the road, developed in 2012.

Lindal and Marton parish councillor Bob Lord said if the work was to go ahead, the district council would be pitching itself against the concerns of residents.

Cllr Lord said: "We had a meeting last Thursday. We know Highways England haven't given any indication if they are going to be in favour or not, but we are hopeful.

"It would seem SLDC would be flying in the face of the opinion of the local people. It's not just the parishes of Pennington, Lindal and Urswick but also the town councils of Ulverston and Barrow who have come out against the proposal."

Although Cllr Lord lives away from the A590, he has great sympathy for residents close to the road, who have already faced months of disruption due to work on the Lindal Dip.

He said: "It's been more stressful for the people who live closer to the road."

In order to re-assess their stance on the development, Highways England had placed a holding order on the development until April 20.

This order was a request that the council did not make a decision on the development until at least that date.

A spokesman from the council said: "We are consulting with Highways England in terms of access (to the development). The holding direction will be in place as we are awaiting their comments.

"It is unusual for comments not to be submitted before the holding order expires.

"We'd be surprised if they don't come before that deadline runs out."

The next SLDC planning meeting will take place on April 27, one week after the holding order deadline expires.

The council has indicated if the comments were received on time, a decision on the plant would be likely.