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Minister’s promise on Ribble Valley housing
A GOVERNMENT minister has pledged that the Ribble Valley can ‘take back control’ of the planning process in the borough if their housing plan is approved next year.
During a visit to Clitheroe planning minister Nick Boles said the borough council would be backed up by government inspectors once its resubmitted core strategy is signed off in the spring.
The MP was holding a meeting with housing action groups from Whalley and Clitheroe in the council chambers yesterday with Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.
Mr Boles also attended a private meeting with members of the council.
He stated however that the next generation had a right to expect affordable housing and the current generation had to accept and recognise that.
Mr Boles said: “I understand the concerns of the residents of the borough and the council will have a lot more power to defend their decisions once their core strategy has been approved.
“Until that has happened there is very little this government can do to help but after that the council will have the backing of planning inspectors.”
Mike Harper, of the Save Whalley Village Action Group, said: “The whole process is developer led and the council can’t afford to defend every appeal that comes their way.
“Residents feel that their views are not being addressed or even listened to.
“We feel the core strategy is obsolete before it has even begun since there are so many applications that have already been approved that will change the borough.”
Coun Mary Robinson, leader of Clitheroe Town Council, said: “The government’s housing policy does not address what needs to be done and it’s a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Just because a lot of housing is needed in a city does not mean that the same amount is needed in a rural area such as this.”
Borough council leader Coun Stuart Hirst, said: “I think it’s a significant announcement that Mr Boles has made today and it will please a lot of people in the borough.”
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