Thumbs down to Whalley housing schemes

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PEOPLE power has scored a victory after a controversial housing development planned for Whalley was thrown out.

During Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Planning and Development Committee meeting on Thursday, an application for a proposed mixed use development comprising residential, a nursing home, car parking, open space and ancillary landscaping to land to the east of Clitheroe Road, Lawstonsteads, Whalley, was refused.

The decision comes after Whalley residents launched a heated campaign against the housing development, which would see 55 houses, a 50-bed nursing home with ancillary car parking. Twenty-nine letters of objection were submitted to the council with residents concerned about increased traffic issues, poor drainage system, the impact on the conservation area and the lack of primary school places for children.

Mr Nick Walker, chairman of local action group Save Whalley Village, welcomed the decision made by the planning committee. He said: “The council listened to us and we are delighted the application was refused.

“Although the application was altered from a large-scale development (300 houses) to only 55 houses and a nursing home, the scheme would still impact greatly on the village. We already have lots of problems with traffic travelling through Whalley, this development would have simply added to those problems.

“In addition, the village has suffered with lots of flooding problems in recent weeks and the go-ahead of the houses would have contributed to pollution with river and sewage systems overburdened.”

He added: “We are pleased that residents in Whalley showed a united front of support and the application is refused.”

Although residents raised concerns about drainage, United Utilities were consulted and stated“there is capacity within the wastewater infrastructure to serve the development”.

Meanwhile, plans for a residential development at land off Mitton Road, Clitheroe, were also rejected.

In total, 85 letters of objection were received and a petition with 235 signatures presented to the committee against the plans to build a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced houses. Clitheroe Town Council had objected to the outline application to develop a site over approximately 1.23 hectares for housing on the grounds that the proposal would lead to over development and there would be access difficulties as vehicles park on both sides of Milton Avenue.

Concern was also raised that the proposed affordable housing was, in terms of cost, more than what the council consider to be affordable.