Government chief to study huge Clitheroe homes plan

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A decision by Clitheroe Town Council to ask the Secretary of State to “call in” the borough council’s decision to approve plans for 1,040 homes has been welcomed by councillors Sue Knox and Jim Shervey.

Speaking after Monday’s meeting of the town council, Liberal Democrat Coun. Sue Knox said: “Because of the size of the application the Secretary of State has to decide if there is enough evidence to call it in.”

The land has been identified in the Core Strategy as a strategic site and the development would be the biggest in Ribble Valley Borough Council’s history, providing 40% of the quota of proposed new homes for the Ribble Valley up to 2028. The outline application, submitted by the Trustees of the Standen Estate, was approved by the borough council in December.

Coun. Knox added: “It is incomprehensible that the council could decide on such a huge application that will change the nature of Clitheroe a week before the hearing in public by the planning inspector into the Core Strategy.”

Coun. Jim Shervey, who spoke at the planning meeting, said: “I am shocked that the application was approved against the advice of the Lancashire County Council highways department. They recommended more than one primary access and said that the traffic congestion that the development would cause to the Waterloo/Shawbridge Street junction would be severe.”

He added that this was backed by the planning inspector in the successful Waddow View appeal who had been concerned about the Waterloo/Shawbridge junction.

The Secretary of State has reserve powers to direct the local planning authority to refer an application to him/her for decision. This is what is meant by “called-in”.