Dozens of people attend public meeting to block new Clitheroe homes plan

Local residents attend the meeting (picture by Sue Hind)
Local residents attend the meeting (picture by Sue Hind)

Concerned residents packed into St Mary's Centre, yesterday evening (Sunday) to voice their concerns about a controversial proposal to build 58 homes for the land off Hawthorne Farm, Hawthorne Place.

They say plans to build the homes will cause increased traffic and will create problems concerning road safety and infrastructure in the town.

Persimmon Homes lodged the application with Ribble Valley Borough Council on December 17th to build a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroomed terrace, semi-detached and detached properties. According to the applicant's planning statement, the development will aid the council in providing "a wider variety of homes and will help to maintain a five year housing land supply".

John Long, who lives on Hawthorne Place, said: "The Hawthorne Place junction is already often gridlocked with cars trying to get on and off Waddington Road. The development of 58 houses will double the size of Hawthorne Place. Safety of our local schoolchildren is also a worry. A lot of primary and secondary school children walk to and from school when the traffic is at its peak and watching them trying to cross can be nerve wracking. Children from Bowland High also wait for their bus at the bottom of Hawthorne Place. This causes a couple of problems already. Initial issues arise with children rushing across both Hawthorne and Waddington to get to their bus. When the children are waiting, it is almost impossible to leave Hawthorne Place as there is reduced visibility. Our other concerns relate to the local infrastructure in Clitheroe. What proposals have been put in place for new schools, doctors and dentists? Surely, without robust and immediate plans we cannot support more developments."

Liberal Democrat councillor Allan Knox said: “Residents will no doubt be horrified at yet another predatory planning application. In 2018, the previous Tory administration chose three sites in Clitheroe, one of which was Hawthorne Place, for what was euphemistically called ‘Additional Housing Land Allocations.’ “They picked these sites in Clitheroe over other sites elsewhere in Ribble Valley. This gave the green light to any developers wanting to build houses on these sites."

People have until Wednesday, January 15th, to submit their objections to Ribble Valley Borough Council.