Villagers’ crisis meeting over new homes plan

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Worried West Bradford residents held a crisis meeting this week over plans for 11 two-storey houses on land next to Clitheroe Road – the main route through the village.

Local people met with Ribble Valley borough councillor Ian Brown and engineering surveyor Stephen Jeffries, who came along to answer questions and listen to the them outline their concerns.

Primary objections from the group revolve around traffic and highways issues and the potential growth of the development after the first phase is completed.

A resident said: “The objections reflect our concern for the location of the entrance to the development off the main road and also that the plans show three more separate exits. We’re concerned that once the first 11 houses have been built, the developers are planning on extending the development at a later date.

“It has been well-documented recently that there are big problems with access to the village over West Bradford bridge and we have seen it closed on numerous occasions due to heavy good vehicles damaging the structure. The closures have caused havoc with traffic in the village and have had a knock on effect in Waddington and Chatburn as drivers sought alternative routes, leading to congestion there too.”

The residents have received support in the from of a letter from Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, who says he shares their concerns: “Nobody can argue that there should be no further houses built in the Ribble Valley, however the current situation is clearly unacceptable, with several villages and towns being held under siege by speculative applications on a large scale. West Bradford is a perfect example of this. I have made my opposition to the proposals public and feel very strongly that the genuine concerns that you have raised are being dismissed as nimbyism, when they are in fact, very real concerns over issues such as school places and road safety.

“You may have recently seen in the local media that I am to present a petition to the House of Commons with over 900 signatures showing the strength of feeling in the areas against developments such as this. I can assure you that I will continue in my efforts to preserve the Ribble Valley as the rural and semi-rural area that it presently is.”