Tory councillors have vowed to fight shock proposals to build hundreds more homes in Longridge on green field sites.
They are urging local people to join their fight to prevent developers building a village sized settlement on the outskirts of Longridge.
On behalf of Longridge Conservatives Councillors Ken Hind, Rupert Swarbrick and David Smith, have expressed horror that three large additional sites in the town have been recommended for possible development.
Acknowledging that if the 1,340 new housing sites get the go-ahead they will require planning approval before any work can start, Coun Hind warned: “Each is bigger than anything that has been proposed so far in the town. All are greenfield sites.”
He said the three sites comprise 264 proposed homes between the Dilworth triangle and Alston Lodge on Lower Lane, some 660 houses between Higher Road and Dilworth Lane and 416 houses for a site south of Preston Road.
Coun Hind said they want the town mayor to chair a public meeting so they can explain what is happening and answer questions.
He said: “The public will be asked in a consultation in the next few weeks to respond to these proposals.
“We recommend to Dilworth, Hothersall and Alston residents to register a very firm NO to these three sites, which are not needed and unnecessary.”
The proposals form part of the proposed Local Development Plan/Core Strategy which was being considered by Ribble Valley councillors at a special Planning and Development Committee meeting in Clitheroe last night.
The strategy is a national requirement and guides future planning decisions.
Ribble Valley borough councillors have been asked to increase the number of housing sites available to be built on in the 15 years up to 2028 to 5,000 with a target of 250 new homes built each year.
A “strategic housing land availability asessment report” recommends an additional 5,761 housing sites be included as candidates for housing development throughout the Ribble Valley borough.
But Coun Hind says Ribble Valley planning officials are proposing twice as much development as is needed.
He said housing should meet local need and not be about just passing “Whitehall tests for future growth.”
Coun Hind, who was planning to speak against the Longridge proposals at the meeting, stressed timing is crucial and that it was essential the proposals be nipped in the bud.
“The way to stop this is to prevent these large strategic sites from ever getting into the local development plan, by the public making representations to the council in the consultation process.
“Once these sites are in the Core Strategy, irrespective of what the public think, the door has been opened to planning applications and consent is more difficult to refuse.
“We clearly do not need a strategic development site that will sweep around from Higher Road to the other side of Lower Lane and contain 924 new houses, effectively a village with over 2,000 inhabitants the size of Chipping or Ribchester.”
He claimed the proposed developments, if ultimately given approval, would increase the size of Longridge by a quarter, putting great pressure on local services.
No-one was available for comment from Ribble Valley Council for comment as the News went to press. The report noted housing provision issues raise concern.
and bring great pressure from landowners and developers.