Public inquiry into Whalley homes continues

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CONCERNED Whalley residents say their village will be “ruined” if permission to build a large-scale housing development is given the go-ahead.

Controversial plans to build 80 houses on fields off Riddings Lane were thrown out in January after villagers raised concerns about over-development, limited school spaces, increased traffic and inadequate drainage for the new homes.

However, developers Cooperative Estates appealed against the Planning and Development Committee’s decision for refusal.

On day two of an inquiry at the Ribble Valley Borough Council chamber, local residents turned out in force to express their concerns.

Mrs Jane Hardman said: “We feel we are opening doors to mass development. Whalley is not like Clitheroe and cannot cope with more houses. There are major drainage problems in the village, with flooding on King Street and the water from 80 more houses will just add to this problem.”

However, Mr Paul Tucker QC, representing Cooperative Estates, reassured Mrs Hardman that if permission is granted, not a single house will be built until the developers, together with Ribble Valley Borough Council, have found a solution to deal with the problem of drainage.

Meanwhile, Mr Nick Walker, local resident and chairman of Save Whalley Village Group, aired his concerns about the lack of primary school places. A former primary school headteacher, he said: “I am concerned for the welfare, wellbeing and life chances of the children in Whalley village.

“There are lack of school places in primary schools, lack of the possibility of expansion of existing primary schools and lack of school places in secondary schools.”

He added: “Children put their faith and trust in adults to do what is best for them. If this appeal is upheld, it will cause untold difficulties for all concerned, parents, pupils and teachers.”

The appeal continues.

• Keep logging onto the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times website for an update on the hearing.