LETTER: No amount of ‘road improvements’ will improve this Clitheroe new homes development

THE planning application by Gladman Developments to build 270 houses on land off Henthorn Road, Clitheroe, was lodged in August 2010 and has yet to be determined.

This proposal fails to comply with significant local planning policies and national guidelines and has been deemed to be unsustainable by planning and highway/transport professionals alike. The site lies outside the settlement boundary, it has only one access point and is 2.8 tortuous miles from the primary route network (the A59 southbound).

The applicants have already tried to “sweeten the pill” by offering to provide a one-room doctor’s surgery (somewhat pointless, given the magnificent provision which already exists on one site in Clitheroe) and they are now offering inducements in the form of “highway improvements”.

In addition to minor alterations, like rounding off corners at junctions, building a few traffic islands and the odd, wrongly sited pedestrian crossing, the main offer is to “improve” traffic flow on the section of Woone Lane, between Eshton Terrace and The Brown Cow pub.

Woone Lane is already heavily congested at times and is made even more so when drivers attempt to travel against the normal flow, which is towards town. The logical conclusion is to make this road one-way, which, with the exceptions quoted, it already is in all but name.

The developers have offered to pay for this conversion and the required statutory Traffic Regulation Order, but they are not prepared to do so until planning permission for the development has been granted.

The Lancashire County highways engineer has readily agreed, as a fallback alternative, that modified retention of the present inadequate two-way road could be carried out without requiring public consultation.

This alternative is offered just to satisfy the wishes of the developer and could be forced through with no community involvement, in contrast to that required for a TRO. It would significantly narrow sections of the road and remove many of the present useful parking spaces (with the remaining ones being narrower than normal).

Just think of the chaos as two massive HGVs try to pass each other and the parked cars. There is only one solution which is logical and so glaringly obvious; it is a one-way system.

No other means of solving this problem will work in the long term.

It is a basic principle of planning that consent must not be “bought”, yet Gladman Developments are clearly offering inducements to try to persuade the planners their scheme should be nodded through. Their proposal is already weak and unsustainable and no amount of persuasion will suddenly make it acceptable.

DAVID J. BUTTERWORTH,

Fairfield Drive, Clitheroe