The strength of feeling against the over-development of Longridge and the success of the second public meeting addressing so many concerns was evident from comment during and after the event.
Chairman and mayor Coun Chris Parkinson thanked everyone for the excellent turnout in the Civic Hall last Friday, enabling dicussions to continue from the success of the first meeting.
Also hosting the meeting, Nigel Evans explained he had been MP since 1992 in the area he described as a ‘great jewel in the British crown.’
“Open countryside, a beautiful environment, good communities,” he said “Everyone here is happy to live here....but if we let everyone in, none of us would want to stay here.”
“It is areas around the Ribble Valley – Blackburn, Pendle – which planners should be inspirational about, encouraging people to live there too.”
However, it was planners, inspectors and officials in planning departments that founder of campaigning group Dilworth Voice, Angeline Humphreys, said should be made to face communities like Longridge and explain how they came to decisions which so affected people’s lives. Her own encounters with such officials had not been helpful.
“Have you ever been to a borough planning meeting in Clitheroe?” she asked. “It’s an enlightening experience because you realise that this county is carved up and all interest in Longridge disappears.”
The raft of complaints and concerns from local people were repeats of and expansions on issues which have plagued Longridge since the development on its boundaries began.
These would increase, residents stated, with the approval of the 190 properties on the Gladman site and if other major developments proposed also went ahead.
Raw sewage in the area of new development Cromwell Fields, surface water bringing up drains on Dilworth Lane, the threat to roads with increasing traffic were all cited as worries.
“We have roads almost gridlocked now with most houses having two cars – they are accidents waiting to happen,” one resident stated.
“It will be a nightmare – surgeries will be overwhelmed, schools and services won’t cope,” he added, bringing loud applause.