Clitheroe residents’ dismay over Waddow View homes plan

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Controversial plans for 275 houses off Waddington Road in Clitheroe – known as the Waddow View development – have jumped their first hurdle.

The “outline” application, which means for permission in principle, was conditionally approved during a meeting last night (Thursday) by Ribble Valley Borough Council (RVBC) planners.

However, full approval will be deferred subject to work delegated to the council’s director of community services being satisfactorily completed.

Members of both Clitheroe and Waddington Town Councils objected to the plans, which have been submitted by a consortium of local landowners, as did members of the Back Commons Residents Group (BCRG).

Coun. Ricky Newmark read out representations at the meeting from Conservative Coun. Kevin Horkin, who is a town councillor and a Ribble Valley Borough Councillor for the St Mary’s Ward.

Coun. Horkin has argued that large scale housing developments in the Ribble Valley, such as the Waddow View development, should be refused or delayed because of concerns over poor air quality.

He has quoted figures showing that Clitheroe has one of the worst CO2 emission levels per person in England at 18.4 tonnes making it an “air pollution epicentre”.

“Building hundreds of new houses in one of the few remaining green lung areas in the centre of Clitheroe will further exacerbate the problem. More houses will still emit more CO2, no matter how energy efficient they are,” wrote Coun. Horkin.

A re-submission of an earlier application for housing plans on this land, Coun. Horkin added that he couldn’t understand why the application had come back in front of the council’s planning and development committee. The first application was refused by RVBC and subsequently, this decision, was upheld on appeal.

“Were the comments of the Planning Inspector in his report on the previous application not clear enough – that so intractable are the traffic problems relating to access to and from the site that Waddow View should be ruled out as a development site full stop.

“It is for reasons of highways issues alone that Waddow View is wholly unsuitable as location for future development.”

He went on to comment: “I for one do not wish to bequeath “gridlocked Clitheroe” to future generations.”

The outcome of last night’s meeting has caused dismay among some local residents who live close to the development site.

Clitheroe resident Sarah Briggs warned residents of Castle View and Kirkmoor Road to prepare for double yellow lines and, possibly, parking permits.

Members of the BCRG have vowed “to continue to oppose this planning application on every level”.

For the full story and more local reaction read next Thursday’s Clitheroe Advertiser and Times.