Perfect chance for council to show it’s on residents’ side

FLAGS EYE VIEW: View of Clitheroe from the top of Clitheroe Castle.'Photo Ben Parsons
FLAGS EYE VIEW: View of Clitheroe from the top of Clitheroe Castle.'Photo Ben Parsons

No Core Strategy, no five-year housing supply and no money left to fight developer appeals – that’s proved a recipe for disaster for the local environment.

The lack of suitable planning by Ribble Valley Borough Council has become a disaster for the residents of Henthorn and surrounding area.

At the most recent planning committee meeting another 140 houses were imposed on Henthorn, taking the area’s total to 410. Neither development approved is acceptable to the local community but, in the absence of any expert objections, both plans have been passed.

Clitheroe’s new housing total is now over 1,000. With the 345 house Waddow View appeal outstanding and 1,040 new properties planned for Standen Estates, the town stands to inherit over 2,400 new properties. Somebody needs to get a grip!

But could help be at hand? Might common sense win the day? One of the experts who must be consulted is Lancashire County Council highways department.

It determines the impact new developments have on our already overcrowded roads.

A recent response by LCC highways department to the Standen Estate application contains serious questions regarding the scale of the development and its impact on our roads and rural environment.

It is concerned the plan only includes one exit onto Pendle Road and states: “The additional vehicles generated by this proposed development will result in higher flows on the surrounding network, particularly along one corridor which is a predominantly rural link. LCC has serious concerns with this access strategy”.

LCC also highlights the development as being “located beyond the existing built environment” and observes the proposed site could produce an “isolated, car dependent community with car usage higher than that assessed”.

There is also strong reference to the impacts on delays/queuing around the Shawbridge Street, Waterloo Road, Taylor Street linked junctions. LCC’s conclusion is that it is “not able to support this application as it has currently been submitted with only one primary vehicular access”.

So what happens next? This application should come before RVBC planning committee next month with a recommendation from officers for refusal based on LCC’s objections. We constantly hear about applications having to be passed as there are no official expert objections. Well, how many are required, as LCC has provided numerous.

This site should never have been included in the initial Core Strategy for all the reasons highlighted by LCC (and more). Over 2,000 Clitheroe people signed a petition highlighting the mistake.

RVBC has a perfect opportunity to show Clitheroe residents it is on our side. Please don’t mess this one up!