Debate on council’s Core Strategy for homes

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The final form of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Core Strategy document on housing needs to 2028 is to be debated at a special meeting of the borough’s planning committee on Thursday, May 8.

It is then up for approval at a special council meeting on May 15 after which there will be a short public consultation.

The final draft will go to the government planning inspector for his consideration and, if approved, it will then be lodged.

The borough’s councillor for Longridge, Coun Ken Hind, reveals that it was because of the strong feeling that Longridge was ‘under siege’ that he has pressed for the special council meeting on May 15.

He said “The urgency of this is so that I and other councillors can argue that the weight given to the Core Strategy in granting planning consents is very high.

“It should be one of the main factors in considering the Wimpey and Barratts applications.”

Plans could increase the Longridge housing quota, minus recent approvals, to 681 homes over the next 14 years or 48 a year, Coun Hind felt.

The plans would include conversions of shops, barns, building flats for young people, sheltered accommodation and bungalows for the retired, meeting local need.

However, he felt the major developers were making a grab for all the potential housing development on the Ribble Valley side of Longridge over the next 14 years. This, he said, would be paramount to dictating to the community what they should accept.

“Their timing is designed to avoid the Core Strategy and Longridge Neighbourhood Plan, both currently in preparation,” said Coun Hind.

“Longridge has to be regarded as one community on both sides of the Savick Brook in Preston and the Ribble Valley. Meetings between council officials on both sides of the boundary have been established with a view to working together.

He added: “In planning terms, wherever possible, Longridge has to be viewed as one community.

“This is even though it is artificially divided by an ancient local government boundary.”