Questions to ask before moving to the Ribble Valley

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In the article in the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times (September 19th) “It’s a good life in the Valley”, Coun. Hirst’s statement that “planning would attract some dissatisfaction” is a classic example of understatement.

There is a massive swell of resentment from residents, particularly in Clitheroe, Barrow and Whalley, at what they see happening in their locality.

The excessive number of developments now in build and proposed will kill this part of the Ribble Valley and I predict that, in 10-15 years, Clitheroe will become unrecognisable and will be no more than a dormitory town.

The high street will be dead and boarded up.

All the local government services, health services and educational provision will be overwhelmed.

The local supermarkets and stores like Dawson’s will lose millions of pounds as people will not put up with the hassle of getting into town and having nowhere to park when they eventually get there (our parking is at virtual saturation point now).

People will drive out of town to other locations nearby where the supermarkets are easy to access and have massive car parks.

It is already happening now.

The killer, of course, is all the extra traffic which will be generated by these new developments, with which our totally inflexible road network will be unable to cope, particularly on the south side of town.

The council has had its control of local planning swept away and is powerless to stop developers from concreting over our green field sites with the introduction by central government of the National Planning Policy Framework. Until some radical changes are made to this, such as removing the right to the developers appeal against councils decision to refuse planning applications, nothing is going to change.

This begs the question, what is the point of local government if it is not allowed to govern its own affairs?

As for people contemplating buying houses on these new developments, I would advise them to seriously consider the following five questions:

1. Can I get my children into a local school?

2. Can I commute to my place of work without unacceptable delays due to traffic congestion?

3. Can I drive into town to shop without undue delay?

4. Can I find somewhere to park when I eventually get there?

5. Can I get adequate health provision for my family?

Andrew Moore,

Kenilworth Drive, Clitheroe