MORE than 1,000 new homes could be built on the outskirts of Clitheroe – if the largest single planning application the Ribble Valley has ever seen is given the green light.
The applicant – the Trustees of the Standen Estate – has submitted an outline application to Ribble Valley Borough Council for 1,040 homes in total, including 728 market value homes and 312 affordable homes, on land at Higher Standen Farm and part of Littlemoor Farm, Clitheroe.
If the plan is approved, amenities such as a new primary school and an improved junction, in the form of a roundabout, at the accident blackspot where Pendle Road meets the A59 would be built.
However, the application has already been widely criticised by local residents.
And the chairman of Clitheroe Residents’ Action Group, Steve Rush, told the Advertiser and Times the application made no provision for how these new homes would impact on the town’s infrastructure.
“The plans will completely destroy prime agricultural land at the expense of the housing numbers it will provide coupled with the lack of infrastructure to cope with the housing,” he said.
Mr Rush added an image provided by the group describes far better than words the scale of the proposed development. “Everyone can talk about 1,040 houses, but when you actually see how the plans stretch from Littlemoor Road to Pendle Road, as shown in our image, they see how massive it is,” Mr Rush said.
But in a letter to John Macholc, head of planning at RVBC, the applicant’s agent, Wigan-based chartered town planners Steven Abbott Associates, said there were “no adverse effects which significantly and demonstrably outweigh the significant benefits of this proposal”.
He added: “The applicants are keen to work with the council and local community in seeing an opportunity for a high quality development which will make a substantial contribution to meeting housing needs and deliver many benefits to the area.
“Regardless of the emerging Core Strategy, the residential development is needed to enable the council to meet its obligations to provide sufficient land for homes.
“This application provides the council with such information even at this outline stage to enable it to impose conditions which would set design principles and parameters. This would assist in ensuring subsequent permissions do not dilute what is being proposed here.
“It remains for us to respectfully request the council to grant planning permission for this unique opportunity for sustainable development which meets recognised housing needs at the earliest opportunity.
“This will ensure the growth of Clitheroe, in the context of contemporary needs, is done in a controlled, attractive and broadly beneficial manner.”
The applicant states 0.8 hectares of land will to be reserved for retirement living, with 156 homes built for people aged over 55 – 78 of which will be affordable homes.
A further 0.5 hectares will be reserved for local retail, service and community facilities and 2.25 hectares for employment accommodating up to a maximum gross floor space of 5,575m2,
A plot measuring 2.1 hectares will be reserved as the primary school site.
The plan also includes public open space, including green corridors and areas for tree planting and landscaping, new vehicular, pedestrian and cycle accesses onto Pendle Road and Littlemoor, as well as new pedestrian and cycle accesses to Worston Old Road.
Temporary vehicular access to Worston Old Road would also be created and the application cites new pedestrian and cycle access from the end of Shays Drive.
Roads, sewers, footpaths, cycle ways, services and infrastructure would include a sustainable urban drainage system and there would be new services, such as gas, electricity, water and telecommunication.
A Ribble Valley Borough Council spokesman confirmed the planning application was the largest the authority had ever received. It is expected to come before the council’s planning and development committee in the new year.
Any comments about the application need to be received by RVBC’s planning department by November 16th.
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