Clitheroe homes campaigners plan protest walk

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans talks to concerned residents over the proposed plans to build over 1000 new homes on fields around Standen Hall.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans talks to concerned residents over the proposed plans to build over 1000 new homes on fields around Standen Hall.

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ANGRY residents will stage a protest walk to highlight the green fields the Ribble Valley will lose if the Standen Estate planning application in Clitheroe is approved.

They are asking people to join them on the walk which will take place on Sunday May 12th at 3 p.m. at the Four Lanes End junction off the A59 at the top of Pendle Road.

The Standen Estate application is for 1,040 residential homes on the Higher Standen Farm and Part Littlemoor Farm sites.

Strong opposition has already been registered by Clitheroe Residents Action Group (CRAG), Clitheroe Town Council, the Campaign for Rural England, Natural England and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.

Ribble Valley Borough Council Liberal Democrat councillors Allan Knox and Sue Knox, Conservative Coun. Ian Brown and chairman of CRAG Steve Rush met with Lingfield Avenue and Hillside Crescent residents recently to offer support in their fight against the Standen Estate application. All four also issued a cross party joint statement against such over development of the town.

Coun. Ian Brown said: “It’s an over development of Clitheroe.

“I have been against the Core Strategy since I was reelected in 2011. This one size fits all strategy does not suit the Ribble Valley.

“I think everyone is aware that we need some housing, but there is just too many.”

He added that although there is a need for affordable housing and housing for the elderly, the town could not sustain such a large development and does not have the infrastructure to cope with it.

Mr Rush said: “CRAG are looking to support the walk in an effort to show people the beauty of the countryside that will be destroyed if the housing goes ahead.”

Coun. Allan Knox said: “The Standen Estate development is far too big particularly for a town like Clitheroe. A thousand houses is an extremely big development and requires an awful lot of infrastructure. When it came through in the Core Strategy we never supported it or its draft outline. Because of that we have always said that we should have lots of smaller discreet developments with green corridors around them.”

Coun. Knox added that his main concern was that with the Standen Estate development and all the other planning applications currently submitted for Clitheroe he cannot see any way that the local school infrastructure will cope.