An application to build 10 new homes on the car park of Clitheroe’s mosque have been given the go-ahead by Ribble Valley planners despite objections from local residents.
A total of 25 letters of objection were submitted to the borough council ahead of its planning and development committee meeting last Thursday.
The main objections included concerns raised about the safeguarding of local children as residents living in the new homes will directly overlook the playground of St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School. Other concerns raised included the loss of parking and increased traffic plus inadequate access.
The disruption to school traffic, the increased congestion to the town as well as the unsympathetic design of the development were also considered problems.
Monsignor John Corcoran, who is the priest at St Michael and St John’s RC Church, said: ““Though I regret the decision, it is the parents of our school children and the residents of Highfield Road and Bayley Fold who will suffer the inevitable congestion and even gridlock that will result morning and evening on weekdays and peculiarly on Friday afternoons.”
Although members of Clitheroe Civic Society praised the “refreshingly imaginative design approach” of the plans, a spokesman added: “The instances of gridlock around this area are becoming more frequent and, in the absence of any provision for the planned control to accommodate this increasing amount of traffic, this development can only add to the problem.”
Members of Clitheroe Town Council, meanwhile, also objected to the plans on the grounds that they have concerns about the site access, the impact the proposals will have on parking at the mosque and the impact the proposals will have on the access to the nearby primary school.
The site off Wilkin Square which is off Highfield Road is in Clitheroe Conservation Area and is used as an informal over spill car park for the mosque. The plan is for 10 apartments, five of which will be one-bedroom and the other five two bedroom. The main access to the properties will be off Wilkin Square with parking provided at the front of the properties.
A council planning officer said: “Taking account of the above matters and all material considerations it is considered that the proposal will result in the redevelopment of a brownfield site that will bring forward new housing within a highly sustainable location with walkable access to public services and facilities.
“It is further considered that the granting of consent will bring forward a form of development that will contribute to the overall enhancement of the Clitheroe Conservation Area and would result in a proposal that is considered to be an appropriate scale, design and external appearance that will not result in any detrimental impact upon the character and visual amenities of the area.”