Housing plan for old chairworks rejected

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The future of the former Chipping chairworks site continues to be uncertain despite
November’s “minded to refuse” decision by borough planners turning into a full refusal at the December meeting.

Two local councillors described the plans for change of use of the Kirk Mill site –including 60 houses, two hotels and developing the cricket field – as “too high a price to pay” and “massively in excess of housing need” when they spoke at last week’s meeting.

Borough ward councillor Simon Hore and parish councillor Paul Hunt both spoke for the large number of residents opposed to the plans.

After the meeting, Coun Hunt said the parish council was pleased with the refusal, confident that it represented the overwhelming opposition in the village, but also aware that the old site needed regenerating.

The Village Plan with Bowland-with-Leagram takes in this need, additional housing would sustain schools, shops and pubs, but the current proposal was too high a price to pay, said Coun Hunt.

“The plan proposed an additional 50 homes over a 10 year period based on local housing needs, including affordable homes and accommodation for the elderly,” he said.

“The applicant has stated that he will appeal against the borough decision. If this happens, the parish council will inform residents how they can make their views known.”

Coun Hore stressed that a majority had opposed the development on a green field site.

He said “This specific planning application has been refused by the planning and development committee and the majority in the village have been opposed to the proposed scale of the development on a green field site.

“We have never said no to any development, as many in the village, including myself, would like to see the Kirk Mill and old factory site developed. Chipping is categorised as a Tier 2 village within Ribble Valley borough council’s adopted Core Strategy and so the 60 houses is massively in excess of any housing need.

“It is hoped the site owners will reconsider alternative developments for the site and confine developments to the area originally used by the chairworks of HJ Berry.”