Legal challenge to 1,000-plus new homes plan in Clitheroe

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Ribble Valley Borough Council has expressed its disappointment at a legal challenge to its decision to grant planning permission for 1,040 houses at Standen, Clitheroe.

And the council has vowed to “vigorously defend its position” against any judicial review of the decision.

RVBC’s planning and development committee approved an outline application from Standen Estates for more than 1,000 houses, shops and a primary school, at Higher Standen Farm and Littlemoor Farm, Clitheroe, last December.

But now Kendal company Newclose Properties Ltd has launched a legal bid to get the decision overturned.

Newclose Properties Ltd owns the strip of land adjacent to the former Barkers Garden Centre site off Whalley Road which budget retailer Aldi needs to progress its ambitions for a supermarket in Clitheroe.

RVBC’s planning committee gave the go-ahead to Aldi plans at the end of May, but a condition of this approval was that Aldi must provide paths in Littlemoor Road on land which Newclose Properties Ltd currently own.

When the Standen plans were approved, local planners agreed access to the development would be from Pendle Road and there should be a second access, available for buses and emergency services vehicles only, off Littlemoor Road.

Lancashire County Council which had been consulted about the plans said the provision of only one access to a development of this size remained a “serious concern” to LCC.

Newclose Properties Ltd have five weeks left to make their representations before a judge will decide whether there are grounds for a judicial review to be held.

If it was decided a second all-purpose access was needed to the Standen site off Whalley Road, that could impact on the land owned by Newclose.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “We are very disappointed to have received notification of Newclose Properties’ intention to seek a judicial review of our decision to grant planning permission for the development at Standen, Clitheroe.

“The council will vigorously defend its position and strive to have the judicial review rejected in the initial stages.”

Coun. Terry Hill, chairman of the borough council’s planning and development committee, said: “We are shocked and disappointed by this. We believe we did everything right. We will see what happens during the legal process.

“It’s an ideal strategic site that was approved by committee after due consideration.”