RIBBLE Valley MP Nigel Evans has pledged to protect the area of outstanding beauty from large planning applications.

Mr Evans, who is Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, responded to residents’ concerns about the number of planning applications being proposed in the area.

Mr Evans said: “I will continue to fight for the protection of our Ribble Valley, an area of outstanding beauty and community spirit that is being stretched to its limit.

“I want to make it absolutely clear that I back the residents of Clitheroe, Whalley, Barrow, Longridge and all over the Ribble Valley in their opposition to the huge planning applications that have been proposed.

“I do not want to see enormous applications that will forever change the nature of our area and drastically alter the quality of life for existing residents.

“The action groups that I have met and others that have contacted me through surgeries or written to the House of Commons are absolutely right to raise their concerns.

“It does seem that more needs to be done so that the council are able to say ‘no’ to these applications until the Core Strategy is approved without fear of losing on appeal.

“At the moment, the power seems to lie with the developers and that, to my mind, cannot be right.”