“Stop Standen” placards were carried on a protest walk on Sunday against the largest planning application the Ribble Valley has ever seen.
Despite torrential downpours, as many as 250 protestors met at the top of Pendle Road, Clitheroe, to show the strength of feeling against the 1,040 homes development being proposed for the Standen Estate.
Protestors both young and old walked along Four Lane Ends and through the fields earmarked for the development carrying placards.
One said “Hey Ribble Valley Borough Council listen to us – not the developers”, while another read “1,040 houses? What happened to common sense”?
The Hillside Close/Lingfield Avenue residents, who had organised the walk and whose homes back on to the land in question, also got protestors to sign a petition against the development. This will be presented to the borough council.
The residents said: “Whilst appreciating the need for some new houses in the future, this protest is against the excessive and unreasonable demands being placed upon our town and, ultimately, destroying its individual character.
“We are effectively being forced to accept more houses than Clitheroe needs. Developers see our green fields as a good place to build houses, due to higher prices, low crime, good schools and proximity to the Forest of Bowland.
“This proposed development of 1,040 houses ticks these boxes for the developers and landowner, but is too large, unsustainable and sadly not in the interest of Clitheroe residents.
“We urge the planning committee to reject this development when it comes up for approval in June.”
The outline application by The Trustees of the Standen Estate is the largest single planning application the Ribble Valley has ever seen.
The application is for 1,040 homes in total, including 728 market value homes and 312 affordable homes. If the plan is approved, amenities such as a new primary school and an improved junction, in the form of a roundabout, at the accident black spot where Pendle Road meets the A59 would be built.
Chairman of Clitheroe Residents’ Action Group Steve Rush, who joined protestors on the walk, added: “This was a fantastic turnout on a cold and very wet day and a credit to the organisation of the Hillside/Lingfield Ave residents.
“It shows, very clearly, the strong feelings Clitheroe residents have about this proposed super estate, which destroys prime agricultural land and our countryside.
“Once the Lancashire County Council election results were known senior councillors remarked that lessons had been learned regarding over development. This is the time to heed those lessons and refuse this application.”
Coun. Terry Hill, chairman of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee, said: “The council is well aware of the strength of public feeling against the Standen application.
“The application will be judged according to planning criteria and all valid objections properly considered.”