LETTER: Time to ditch plans for new homes in Ribble Valley

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“Ribble Valley to get 1,500 new homes” was last week’s headline, then I read on to find the number is nearly 3,000 by 2028!

Why oh why do we need to continue with this mindless Local Development Plan and Core Strategy, buzz words from a crazy New Labour “guru” driven period. Stop it now!

I returned to live here four years ago from a traffic-choked North Derbyshire, which had suffered just such “Core strategies” which lead to a population explosion that was never matched by the promised infrastructure developments.

People living there know the essential Logdendale bypass will never be built, schools are underfunded still and health provision varies from patchy to abysmal. All these things were promised as part of the planning consent for new houses!

Four years on and I find I am again in the middle of such crazy political thinking in the Ribble Valley. Areas grow when business and financial conditions allow and demand it. It cannot be encouraged by political dogma without leaving scars and financial chaos.

The Ribble Valley has undergone a major shift in my lifetime as farms have disappeared and their buildings become houses for those who want to live in the countryside, develop bespoke businesses or commute.

Like it or not, the people choosing to live here are bringing in the wealth to businesses in the area from elsewhere. Manufacturing and the attendent jobs have shrunk year by year and you only need to see the number of empty shops in Clitheroe to notice things are changing.

Building more houses for “commuters” is deep folly that will choke our roads. Parking in the towns and villages is already overloaded and the schools budget, health care and social care provisions are suffering from governments overwhelming task of getting us “out of the red”.

The A59 (Clitheroe bypass) improvements finished at Langho 11 miles from the M6 with no hope of a major road program in the next 20 years!

The new houses already being built in Barrow are all “commuter houses” as there is little work in walking distance. The planners who are trying to build in Whalley reckon on less than one car per household when planning the impact of their development.

We can all see that in this type of new basically commuter developments two cars per household is the norm and more if there are late teenage children living there. That means at least 6,000 extra cars in this area by 2028 sheer madness.

Please Ribble Valley Borough Council abandon these plans until it becomes necessary due to improved national conditions.

JOHN WHITESIDE,

Princess Street, Whalley