Hothersall industrial estate protesters set to pack themselves into council meeting

A view looking towards Hothersall, where the industrial estate is planned.
A view looking towards Hothersall, where the industrial estate is planned.
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Protesters fighting against plans for an industrial estate on the Longridge boundary will be out in force at Ribble Valley’s planning meeting this Thursday (July 27).

The controversial plans for Hothersall will go-ahead if councillors agree with the recommendation being put forward by planning officers who are asking the committee to “defer and delegate” the outline application to the council’s director of community services “for approval” subject to further highway details being agreed and and a long list of conditions.

Members of the action group ‘No Industrial Estate for Hothersall’ who are fighting the proposals, say they intend “to fill the public gallery with objectors to show Ribble Valley Borough Council the overwhelming strength of public feeling” against the industrial estate.

There has been a huge backlash from the Hothersall community since they learnt of the plans.

But despite fierce objection to the outline application by BKW Developments Ltd for office, research, light and general industry and storage on the land south of Blackburn Road, together with access, car parking, landscaping and services infrastructure, officers believe the economic and public benefits would “outweigh the environmental impacts of the proposals”.

They state additional local employment would support the strategic objectives of the council in line with their employment land study, core strategy and various policies.

Also, in the officers’ opinion, the proposed industrial estate “would not result in an unacceptable level of harm to the appearance and character of the surrounding landscape subject to provision of appropriate landscaping details.”

But Hothersall Parish council, Hillside School, Ribchester Parish council, residents and others have objected or raised matters of concern and Ribble Valley has received 113 letters of objection.

Hothersall Parish Council chairman, Dr Ian Forrester, who will be speaking for campaigners at the meeting, said: “The parish council has, in the last three months canvassed a huge amount of opinion and had numerous meetings in order to get as much opinion as possible on this major development.”

But, he says, they have received “no support at all” for the industrial estate to go ahead.

He is also concerned people in Longridge still don’t seem to know about the proposals, saying: “This would have a big affect on Longridge.

“We have a disaster waiting to happen. It is the wrong site. It is a green site on the wrong side of Longridge.”

At the meeting, Dr Forrester says he will be raising the issues that the parish council has already written about numerous times, adding: “We are trying to get action from the councillors.”