Government inspector’s ‘yes’ to 270 new homes in Clitheroe

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A MAJOR new development of up to 270 houses and a GP surgery on land off Henthorn Road, Clitheroe, can move ahead after a Govenment planning inspector overruled Ribble Valley Borough Council’s refusal of the scheme.

This means the outline application from Gladman Developments Ltd – seeking permission in principle for the scheme – will now be granted. However, a full and detailed application would still need to be approved before any work starts. The decision follows a four-day inquiry in Clitheroe led by Planning Inspector Harold Stephens earlier this month.

He states in his decision, released on Monday: “There is clear objective evidence before me that the traffic concerns raised by the council and other interested persons are not warranted ... I conclude on the second issue that traffic generated by the appeal proposal would not lead to unacceptable highway conditions particularly on Woone Lane.”

The inspector also states that from the evidence presented no better sites have been identified for housing, the site is “sufficiently accessible” with the measures proposed and would not conflict with national policy. Overall it would “comprise a sustainable form of development”.

John Macholc, head of planning at RVBC, said the council was surprised by the speed of the decision – the appeal only concluded on Friday, March 16th – and disappointed with the outcome.

He said: “We consider that the council put forward a robust case in relation to highway and sustainability issues and that residents raised many valid points via the inquiry process.

“We will now assess the issues raised by the Inspector’s decision together with the new guidance on National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).”

News that the controversial development will go-ahead has dismayed many local residents who have fought a long and hard battle which resulted in the plans being refused by Ribble Valley planners back in September last year.