345 new homes would decimate wildlife in Clitheroe, claim objectors

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Massive environmental damage to the natural habitat of several protected species is being cited by residents opposed to a proposed major housing development to the North West of Clitheroe.

A consortium of local landowners is seeking planning permission to build up to 345 homes on land off Waddington Road, with a public exhibition on the plans held in Clitheroe in early September.

However, people living nearby claim the greenfield site is a “wildlife corridor”, inhabited by otters, owls, bats and many smaller mammals which would be driven out if the development went ahead.

Speaking on behalf of those opposing the plan, Roland Hailwood explained: “The return of the otters to this area of the Ribble is fact and we know they come up from the river and have been feasting on the Koi Carp owned by one of the residents of Back Commons, where they were photographed.

“The otters use a stream and a route which bisects the proposed housing development. The Barn Owl, tawny owls and bats regularly fly over the proposed development area.

“The ancient established hawthorn hedge which would be destroyed is a wildlife corridor for smaller mammals and a nesting site for a wide variety of birdlife. Deer and herons are also regular visitors to the area and the migratory birds gather here to fly off for the winter.”

Mr Hailwood added: “The minute you drive an excavator into the area we can say goodbye to much of this rich vein of wildlife making this green space of the town boundary not a asset to the town, but just another housing estate.

“As Clitheronians we need to make our views known to the planners about this destruction of our landscape and heritage.”

More details fo the planning application (reference number 3/2012/0913) can be found on Ribble Valley Borough Council’s website at: {http:// www.ribblevalley.gov.uk|www.ribblevalley.gov.uk}