LETTER: Ribble Valley housing plans will set villages against each other

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Core Strategy round two has commenced and now includes more options than an insurance call centre.

This issue needs resolving quickly before we are presented with building 6,000 new homes.

The previous Core Strategy document asked for local input surrounding 1,500 new houses, but 12 months later this has escalated to 3,000.

We are asked to select from eight proposals, which will see local communities at loggerheads with each other while they argue their case for the least amount of disruption and housing saturation.

It appears inevitable masses of new developments are to spring up all over the Ribble Valley. So which option should you select. Here goes:

As Clitheroe and Longridge have the biggest populations in the Ribble Valley I suggest the inhabitants of these towns stick together and plump for option three. This will mean Longridge gets 90 and Clitheroe 657 new homes, which is the lowest total either town could achieve.

I am sure the residents of Whalley would prefer Option B where only 284 new houses would be built, while the villages will be pushing for option A which would see them with 310 new homes. However, they do not have enough voices to compete with Clitheroe and Longridge!

Sorry Whalley and the Villages, but if the big two stick together and select option three you will be getting 448 and 1,792 respectfully. Where on earth 1,792 new houses are going to be sited in the villages remains a mystery.

All is not lost for Whalley and the villages; there is another way.

If Clitheroe, Longridge, Whalley and the Villages pool their votes, we could dump 1,950 houses in Barrow and share the other 1,040 between us. That would seem the logical plan as there are not enough people living in Barrow to put up much of a struggle.

What a ludicrous situation having neighbouring towns and villages warring with each other over houses the bulk of Ribble Valley residents don’t want. By all means build 900 genuine affordable houses, but forget the 2,100 unaffordable ones.

Has anyone been to Spain recently and seen the thousands of new houses that remain unsold? They remain uninhabited as people cannot afford to buy them.

Has RVBC surveyed the mortgage industry recently?

Receiving a mortgage in this day and age is very difficult unless you have a 20% deposit. Smaller deposits will still qualify for a mortgage, but with higher interest rates for its duration.

As 70% of the proposed new builds are not classed as affordable they will need buying and in most cases with mortgages.

The Core Strategy document is billed as “consultation”, which could not be further from the truth. RVBC are actually dictating there will be 3,000 new homes and just asking us which part of the area to put them in.

The Core Strategy document is a requirement within the Local Development Framework and masqueraded as consultation.

It was, however, pleasing to read the Conservative party senior vice chairman Ken Hind wants “to protect the rural nature of the Ribble Valley”. I am not sure that dumping millions of bricks all over the area will make that dream a reality.

STEVE RUSH,

Mearley Syke, Clitheroe