Council chief hits back at objections to 1,000 new homes in Clitheroe

Coun. Stuart Hirst. (s)
Coun. Stuart Hirst. (s)

A MOCK up photo from Clitheroe Residents’ Action Group (CRAG) showing what plans to build more than 1,000 new homes on the outskirts of Clitheroe could look like has been labelled “crude” by council chiefs.

The image, which featured on the front page of last week’s Clitheroe Advertiser, demonstrates the scale of the proposed development on land at Higher Standen Farm and part Littlemoor Farm in Clitheroe according to CRAG chairman Steve Rush.

However, Coun. Stuart Hirst, deputy leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, this week labelled the photo “misleading” in its presentation and appearance.

“Not surprisingly, the submission of the outline application for the proposed Standen housing development has occasioned extensive and fevered comment,” said Coun. Hirst.

“Once again, however, I feel we need to remind ourselves of some basic facts if the borough is to successfully navigate its way through what continues to be a frenetic and challenging period in planning policy.

“Last week’s headline ‘massive housing plan unveiled’ is disingenuous to say the least and the crude front page mock-up from CRAG (Clitheroe Residents Action Group) is misleading in its presentation and appearance.

“The closely-built, uniform mass housing pattern is a complete distortion of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s future vision for the site in terms of layout and integration within the borough.”

The application by The Trustees of the Standen Estate is the largest single planning application the Ribble Valley has ever seen.

The outline application for 1,040 homes in total, including 728 market value homes and 312 affordable homes, is expected to come before Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee in the New Year. If the plan is approved, amenities such as a new primary school and an improved junction, in the form of a roundabout, at the accident blackspot where Pendle Road meets the A59 would be built.

Despite these promises, the application has still been criticised by Mr Rush for making no provision for how these new homes would impact on the town’s infrastructure.

“The plans will completely destroy prime agricultural land at the expense of the housing numbers it will provide coupled with the lack of infrastructure to cope with the housing,” he told the Clitheroe Advertiser last week.