More than 400 new homes will be built at the end of the “longest cul-de-sac” in Clitheroe after another set of plans were given the green light.
The 140-house development on land off Henthorn Road – described as “the worst place to choose to build such a development” by ward councillor Allan Knox – was approved after a lengthy debate at the borough council’s planning committee meeting.
There were calls from the public gallery for councillors to resign when it was approved.
The developers, the Strategic Land Group, were granted outline permission – which means permission in principle – for a mixed development of 140 new homes. These will have primary access off Henthorn Road. Approval has already been granted for 270 houses on the opposite side of Henthorn Road.
In total, 22 letters of objection were received by the council in response to the application plus a petition containing 181 signatures.
Clitheroe Town Council also objected to the proposals, citing a lack of school places and flawed traffic plans.
Two previous applications requesting outline planning permission for a residential development at this site were refused, one in 1979 and another in April this year.
Coun. Allan Knox, who spoke against the plans, said: “It’s outrageous the committee has twice, over a number of years, said no to this development or something very similar.
“Both times permission was refused on highways grounds, but it seems the county council now takes a view that it will do all it can to assist developers even when it’s blindingly obvious to all local people there are major highways safety and congestion problems with the development.”
He added: “There could hardly be a worse place to choose to put 140 houses because of access.”
Coun. Knox said there would be more traffic congestion in that area of town, as the frequency of passenger trains on the Clitheroe to Manchester line was to increase to half-hourly. The number of freight trains was also to rise.
“This means the Eshton Terrace level crossing barriers are going to be down a lot more from when the original traffic survey was done,” Coun. Knox explained.
Planning committee member Coun. Ian Brown told the Advertiser and Times he too was “disgusted” with the decision.
“These sorts of developments are ruining Clitheroe and there are not the schools, the infrastructure or the health services to cope. We are in an absolutely ridiculous situation and it’s time we stood up and we put a fight up. It’s scandalous we are all powerless because of fear of appeals,” he said.