Moves to create a Longridge Neighbourhood Plan have moved a step closer after Ribble Valley planners gave the town council the green light to go ahead with the project.
This is the first of five stages and the next will be a public consultation after proposals are drawn up by a working party comprising Longridge mayor Coun David Moon and councillors Rupert Swarbrick, Stuart Carefoot, Jim Rogerson, Sarah Rainford and Stewart Tyrer with two Ribble Valley officers.
Coun Swarbrick said: “We will be consulting residents in the near future on the content of the plan. The town mayor has confirmed there will be a wide range of opportunities for the public to become involved with a least one public meeting and a number of drop in sessions.”
The third stage involves consultation and approval by Ribble Valley, which can recommend changes, and the fourth a referendum of Longridge voters which requires half to be in favour.
Coun Ken Hind said: “The fifth phase is the most important. The plan will then become enforceable and any planning application will have to meet the national planning regulations the Core Strategy – Ribble Valley plan and Longridge Neighbourhood Plan criteria.” He said borough councillors would drive the Ribble Valley side, making sure sufficient time and effort was put in by planners, currently under pressure with the borough wide plan.
He added: “Longridge needs to ensure we have sufficient bungalows and sheltered accommodation; adapted accommodation for our ageing population; flats and houses for those starting on the housing ladder, particularly those in the 18-24 age group, as well as family homes. The neighbourhood plan will help to cater for local need.”