DEMONSTRATORS gathered in a Whalley field to protest against a controversial planning application.

Around 100 villagers with posters and placards met at the site, in Mitton Road, to express their anger about the proposals for 116 new homes.

The plans were submitted to Ribble Valley Council by David Wilson Homes in July, but have not yet come before the planning committee.

Mike Harper, vice chair of the Save Whalley Village Action Group, said the main reason people objected was because of how the development would destroy the view of the village’s arches.

He said: “What we are trying to do is highlight the issues that Whalley and the Ribble Valley are facing.

“Whalley has been deluged with planning applications and this is just the latest one.

“The view that we have got along here is one of the iconic views of Whalley and you would not be able to see the arches from the road if this development was built.

“It is also right next to the conservation area and it would really ruin the character of the area.”

Bern Hardman, of Limefield Avenue, joined the demonstration as he was particularly worried about the effect the plans would have on traffic. He said: “The problem is that all the traffic will have to go through Whalley, it is going to be all around us.

“The whole village will just get sucked in and it will become like one small town.

“It will not help businesses because the traffic will stop people calling in, they will just try to avoid it.”

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans met up with the protestors to show his support. He said: “I think we have already said yes to enough houses. There is a highways issue, with the road coming out on to what is a blind spot – it is an accident waiting to happen.

“There are some sites that simply don’t lend themselves to development and this is one of them.

“I am part of the struggle, I am part of the fight and I don’t want to see any more houses in Whalley.

“I just hope that the local authority looks very carefully at the application and supports the local residents.”