Members of three local residents’ groups opposed to large scale housing developments in their areas have met Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans to voice their concerns.
Representatives of Clitheroe Residents Action Group, Save Whalley Village and Barrow Action Group discussed current housing development issues affecting the three communities.
All parties agreed recent initiatives, including meetings with Eric Pickles and Nick Boles, had been fruitless and nothing had come from the Community Secretary’s visit to the Ribble Valley.
The action groups expressed grave concerns regarding the current situation and highlighted recent examples. The upheld appeal for the Mitton Road development, concerns regarding the Barrowlands appeal and Ribble Valley Borough Council’s recent decision not to contest the Waddow View appeal were all cited by the campaign groups.
Mr Evans also listened to concerns regarding the increased number of houses the borough council propose to include in its Core Strategy (around 5,600) and the effects that could have on local education, employment, health care and the road network. Major issues surrounding Lancashire County Council highways reports and the general loss of open countryside were also discussed.
As a result of the meeting Mr Evans agreed to:
Contact all Conservative MPs and determine those with constituencies facing similar development issues and organise a meeting.
Produce a press release on the issue of Ribble Valley school places.
Discuss Traffic Assessments with Lancashire County Council, especially those that have obvious repercussions for communities which the highways department fail to oppose.
Meet with Eric Pickles again once the legal ruling for the Waddow View appeal is known.
Arrange for Nick Boles to visit the Ribble Valley in September.
A new website with up-to-date Ribble Valley information was also discussed. This could include vital information on available school places, traffic problems, drainage and other important issues affecting the lives of Ribble Valley residents.
It was agreed that a follow-up meeting towards the end of the year would be needed to assess the progress on the agreed action points.
In the meantime the action groups would welcome input from anyone with Web design skills with a view to discussing the viability of producing a new website. If you can help, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org