Meeting to discuss controversial Clitheroe homes plan

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One of the largest planning applications the Ribble Valley has ever seen will be discussed by council chiefs on Thursday evening (December 12th).

Members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning committee will discuss the 162-page long report into plans to

build 1,040 houses at Higher Standen Farm and part Littlemoor Farm in Clitheroe.

Officers have recommended that the controversial application, which has been submitted by The Trustees of the Standen Estate, is approved. However, they have recommended that this approval is deferred and delegated to the Director of Community Services following the conclusion of a long list of requirements. These include the satisfactory completion of “departure procedures” and a Legal Agreement within three months from the date of the decision. There is also a list of 73 conditions.

An “outline” application, planners are being asked to make a decision on the general principle of how the site can be developed. If approved at this stage more detailed aspects of the scheme would be the subject of subsequent applications.

The proposed development of the approximately 50 hectare site consists of 728 market value homes and 312 affordable homes, 156 of which will be for people over the age of 55.

Land towards the Pendle Road boundary backing on to properties on Pagefield Crescent, Gills Crescent and Shays Drive has been set aside for a new primary school.

Other space has been allocated for shops and community facilities plus a bespoke business office centre based on an old farm complex on the site. There are also two potential sites for children’s and youth play areas.

The junction between Pendle Road and the A59 will be improved as part of the plans and a roundabout built.

Members of Clitheroe Town Council, Clitheroe Civic Society and the Ramblers’ Association have all submitted objections to the scheme. One objection is that the application is being made before the Core Strategy, the borough’s long-term planning blueprint, has been finalised. Lancashire County Council has also raised concerns that a development of this size has only one primary access. There has been a further 68 letters of objections

Some of the benefits of the proposals cited in the planning officer’s report include that the development is likely to create 410 permanent jobs on the site, of which 310 would be at the proposed business village, 50 in the school and 50 in the community/retail site.

“In addition there would be another 90 ‘indirect’ jobs in the local economy and up to 180 construction jobs on site per year for 12 years,” states the report.

The meeting is scheduled to start at 6-30 pm in Ribble Valley Borough Council Chambers, Church Street, Clitheroe.