THIRTY new houses could be built in a Ribble Valley village if planning permission is granted.

The application, which has been submitted by Stonyhurst College, would see new access on to Whalley Road, a new estate road and a replacement car park at St Joseph’s Primary School, at the Hurst Green site.

The proposed development has been welcomed by Janet Alcock, the ward councillor for Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley, who said she believed the development would be good for the area.

Coun Alcock said: “I think it is a good idea for the village, we do need some new development, but it is crucial they get it right from the point of view of parking and access from the main road.

“We have had one or two applications in the last couple of years which were completely unsuitable, but I think this is a good idea as there will be a mix of size and price of house. We suffer from the classic thing of kids who grow up in the village but cannot afford to live there.

“There are also young teachers who work at the college who will want these houses.”

But Steve Rush, chairman of the Clitheroe Residents’ Action Group, said he was disappointed that this was yet another application to hit the Ribble Valley.

He said: “Thirty does not sound very many, but for Hurst Green, it is a lot. Every single developer that has an interest in land is trying to get their application in now before the core strategy is agreed and it might get refused.”

John Cowdall, chairman at Stonyhurst, said: “Independent schools throughout the country are facing significant challenges in maintaining and upgrading both the facilities of their schools and the buildings in which the pupils and staff live and work.

“Stonyhurst is no exception to this, indeed because of the need to maintain and protect the architectural and historically important Grade I buildings, the costs of their upkeep and improvement is much higher than it would be if the schools operated from modern, and probably undistinguished, buildings.

“We are therefore constantly seeking to maximise our assets and increase our income.”

Fear over 'massive' scheme

A RESIDENTS’ association is gearing up to fight against a ‘potentially massive’ planning application in the Ribble Valley.

Residents are set to be consulted on a potential development at Henthorn Road, near Clitheroe, across the road from the Henthorn Road development, which was approved for 270 homes and a GP surgery in March.

The plans were originally refused by councillors, but later approved by the planning inspectorate.

A formal application has not yet been submitted to Ribble Valley Council for another development and it is not yet known how many homes could be built.

Ribble Valley Council confirmed it had been made aware of consultation planned by a housing developer but that no scheme had been submitted.