Following publication of your front page article last week highlighting the extremely high pollution levels being endured in the Ribble Valley in the light of the Waddow View planning resubmission, then what on earth were Ribble Valley Borough Council planning officers thinking of when they failed to reject outright this development for a further 275 houses to be imposed upon this town?
Even more importantly, bearing in mind that they were fully aware of the ministry inspector’s notification that he was extremely busy and could not address their Core Strategy documents for consideration until the New Year, then why was any decision not deferred until this strategy was in place for the borough? Does this council wish to go down in history as the council that purposely and knowingly poisoned their electorate?
As a long time school governor in this area, and having both supported and worked with several medical charities over the years, I am fully aware that good quality of air is very important for the healthy growth of young people, plus in the later years of life to help in alleviating asthmatic and other conditions in the ageing population.
These councillors have been elected to represent the people of this borough and in being so appointed to take the best decisions in the interests of that electorate. With over 300 letters of objection to this plan, why then do they appear to be ignorant of this fact and seen to be favouring the developers instead of the residents who are opposed to this development?
Both the councillors who voted for the scheme and Mr Robert Parker of Browsholme Hall and his associates in the consortium of landowners who are intending to carry out this sacrifice of the last piece of green countryside with easy access on the edge of town, should hang their heads in shame.
Also sited just across the River Ribble from this development is Waddow Hall, a centre for young people who regularly have large gatherings of youngsters from across the north, expecting to come away for a healthy stay in the countryside, not unknowingly to be poisoned by pollution. I know of local people who suffer with breathing and other allergies and when on holiday these symptons virtually disappear, only to return once again when back in Clitheroe. Also, think of the farmers who will lose valuable grazing and sileage production land which I gather is in the region of 80 acres.
At a time when we are trying to get Britain to become more self-sufficient in food production it is not the time to sacrifice prime agricultural land, with ancient hedgerows and biodiversity, to bricks and mortar.
Regrettably in Britain we are unable to sack councillors, but when the next elections come around can we encourage new people to stand alongside those councillors who thankfully listened to the electorate and voted against the scheme and get a council elected that is for the people and not for big business and wealthy landowners’ interests.
Clitheroe is a small market town with its core mainly developed in Victorian times with narrow streets, and this will be swamped by this further addition of hundreds more vehicles. The infrastructure is just not there. Schools will be stretched further than they are already, accessing health facilities and shops will be extremely difficult with parking at a premium and the proposed exit from Waddow View onto the B6478 Waddington Road is already busy with quarry and farm traffic, all having to queue to squeeze under the low railway bridge near the station which floods on many occasions each year. Children walking to town centre schools will have to breathe in this lethal cocktail of exhaust fumes, much more toxic at low speed and with cold engines.
The villages of Waddington and West Bradford will become rat-runs with motorists seeking alternative routes, and further afield Grindleton, Chatburn and Great Mitton will also suffer with vehicles wishing to access the main A59 on the other side of town.
Apparently the appointed planning officer recommended this scheme for approval. But hewould appear to be totally out of touch with the problems that already exist at times in Clitheroe?
Whenever there is an accident on Whalley Road or the A59 near Pendleton causing traffic to divert down Pendle Road with the subsequent chaos on the town’s roads.
This will be an insight into the future daily routine in Clitheroe. The whole decision is the worst form of bad governance to be seen in many years.
Peter J. Foley,
Clitheroe Road, Waddington