Go-ahead for 50 new homes: planning minister’s snub for Clitheroe

CONCERNED: Coun. Kevin Horkin surveys the green field Milton Avenue site as it is now. (s)
CONCERNED: Coun. Kevin Horkin surveys the green field Milton Avenue site as it is now. (s)

CLITHEROE’S Deputy Mayor has warned that a decision to allow up to 50 new homes to be built in the town could set a dangerous precedent.

Clitheroe town councillor and Ribble Valley borough councillor for the St Mary’s ward Coun. Kevin Horkin is concerned the Planning Inspectorate’s decision to allow the controversial development on land off Milton Avenue will lead to the loss of more green field sites.

“I feel very disappointed and let down. Local people objected to this development and they were supported by Ribble Valley Borough Council who refused to give outline planning permission,” said Coun. Horkin. “I fear the fact that the developers have now been given the go ahead may set a dangerous precedent which results in further local green belt land being lost.”

The application for outline planning permission, which is permission in principle, for a residential development of up to 50 houses on land off Milton Avenue, Clitheroe, was refused by Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning committee in July 2012.

However, an appeal by the applicant, The Huntroyde Estate, against this decision has been allowed by The Planning Inspectorate and outline planning permission granted.

Last month Coun. Horkin wrote to the Planning Minister Nick Boles MP inviting him to visit Clitheroe and the Ribble Valley to judge public opinion on new housing development for himself.

“I haven’t even had a reply to my letter. Boles doesn’t appear to be bothered! These are very pressing issues which local people feel very strongly about and clearly we are being ignored,” added the Conservative councillor.

He is now calling on the residents of Clitheroe and the wider Ribble Valley to make their feelings known.

“Vote with your pen. Anyone who cares as much as I do about our countryside must write to the Planning Minister and leave him in no doubt that inappropriate future housing development will have a devastating impact on this area and its infrastructure,” he said.