COUNCILLORS have voted ‘with heavy hearts’ to support Ribble Valley Council’s plans for development in the years up to 2028.
Known as the Core Strategy, members backed the borough’s decision to move the strategy to the next stage.
That means it will be lodged with a government planning inspector for examination and public scrutiny.
The strategy contains proposals to create 4,000 homes over the period of the plan.
To date, 1,607 planning permissions have been granted, with a further 2,393 in the pipeline, of which 1,040 are located at a site on the Standen Estate, near Clitheroe.
One of the councillors, Tory Ken Hind, said: “The decision to lodge the Core Strategy for public examination with a planning inspector for public scrutiny is one which many councillors supported with a heavy heart.
“The policy is driven by the Government to meet a housing shortage in the UK of 750,000 homes by 2020. The 2011 census shows that one size does not fit all. The regions with greatest problems are East Anglia, London and the south east.
“The north west is well down the table with lower shortfall, and therefore, in order to see people properly housed, lower numbers of new homes are justified.
“Our councillors – myself, Rupert Swarbrick, David Smith, Jim White and Jim Rogerson – supported the proposal, but the Liberals – who voted for it in committee – voted against in full council, proposed nothing in its place... and that would leave the Ribble Valley defenceless to permissive development.”
Coun Hind outlined four strong reasons to support the Core Strategy:
l A defence against developers aiming to create large new estates on greenfield sites;
l A planned review of the strategy in five years would allow its evaluation in 2017;
l An aim is to meet housing needs of local residents and the elderly, not to aid large developers’ profits for outsiders;
l Creating a neighbourhood plan observing new planning rules through the National Policy Forum and the Localism Act 2012.
He said: “In order to protect the Ribble Valley from extensive permissive development, driven by the building industry for profit, we have to have a core strategy. There is no alternative.
“The Core Strategy will be a major tool in preserving the green and rural nature of the Ribble Valley, and enable development to be ‘for need not greed’.”
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Weather for Longridge
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
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