Campaigners who protested against a major housing development are furious that plans to create a roundabout on a notoriously busy junction close to the site have been put on ice.
Protester Mr Steve Rush of Clitheroe Residents’ Action Group slammed the move as “being totally ignorant of the safety of the public of Clitheroe”.
He said: “It appears that once housing developers have been given the go-ahead to build they are then allowed to do whatever they want.
“This is a total compromise of the safety of Clitheroe residents and now it has been put on hold it makes you wonder if it will ever happen.”
The plan to create the roundabout at the junction of the A59 with Pendle Road by developers Taylor Wimpey, who have been given outline planning permission to build up to 1,040 homes on land at Higher Standen Farm, was put on hold at a meeting of Ribble Valley’s planning and development commmittee.
Although the creation of the roundabout before the development begins was one of the conditions of approval, Taylor Wimpey asked if it could be built after the 50th home was sold on the site.
The committee gave its approval to the deferral of the roundabout.
The company justified the change by pointing out that although concerns had been expressed about the large amount of construction wagons going to the site this would be at a minimum.
The call for the roundabout to be built before the development begins has been backed by Ribble Valley MP Mr Nigel Evans who said he was fully in support of concerns raised by residents.
He said: “These concerns cannot and should not be dismissed as they are brought forward out of genuine concern for the safety of the local area.
“The junction with Pendle Road and the A59 is a dangerous one now and that is before an extra 1,040 dwellings are built with all the extra traffic that will bring. I have grave concerns that the extra traffic this development will bring could result in another accident at this junction before the necessary works are completed.
“The developer should be kept to the original conditions of the planning permission and allowing this change sends a clear signal to the developer that all other conditions they do not like are up for argument.”
Pendle Road residents David and Angela Walters believe that failing to construct the roundabout before the development goes ahead will create a major traffic hazard at the junction.
Angela said: “This is already a very busy junction which has had its layout altered many times in an attempt to reduce the number of accidents there.
“We have lived in the area for 30 years and it has been the scene of several accidents since then and we believe this could increase.”
David said he feared that putting the roundabout plan on hold could mean it is never built.
He said: “This is our real fear that once the 50 homes are occupied the developer may say there is no need for the roundabout after all. We were also told that a housebuilder would never be asked to create a roundabout if they were only building 50 homes but the outline planning permission is for 1,040.”
The couple pointed out that while residents had accepted that the housing estate would be built, despite their protests, they were angry that changes to the conditions had been altered.
David said: “We have spoken to a lot of residents who did not know that the roundabout was being put on hold and there is a lot of anger about this.’’
The Walters said they were also angry that concern had been expressed about Taylor Wimpey being “out of pocket” if they had to construct the roundabout before development began.
They consider that one of the biggest builders in the UK should be able to absorb the cost and abide by a condition to which they originally agreed.”