Ribble Valley housing strategy sent back to drawing board

Protesters object to the strategy in Whalley

Protesters object to the strategy in Whalley

First published in News
Last updated
Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Crime reporter

RIBBLE Valley Council is starting another six months of work on its housing development strategy after a planning inspector found “fundamental concerns” in the proposals.

In a letter to the authority, inspector Simon Berkeley said that much of the information detailed in the core strategy, which details how many houses the Ribble Valley needs to build to meet demand between 2009 and 2029, was “out-of-date” or did not quantify the need for affordable housing.

In the report, Mr Berkeley said he had “strong doubts” about whether the plan would make it through the scrutiny stage because the evidence provided had come from 2008.

He said: “The base of evidence underpinning the plan’s strategic approach to housing and economic development is not adequately up-to-date.

“I am concerned that it will not stand up to scrutiny through the examination hearings.

“This is a fundamental problem.”

He advised for the core strategy either to be suspended or withdrawn to allow updates to be made.

Michael Ranson, leader of Ribble Valley Council, said that the council was now co-operating with the inspector’s suggestion to suspend the core strategy and hoped to resubmit it by June.

He said: “It is not positive but it is a fact of life.

“Most core strategies start this way, so it is nothing unusual.

“We have had various consultations with the inspector and we have agreed a programme of doing some additional work and updating our figures.

“The council has now put the submission of the core strategy back to June.

“We started this process about five or six years ago and we have got to go through all these consultations so it was inevitable that certain things would be out-of-date.

“The council is going to do everything the planning inspector asked for in his letter — it will cost money. We have to employ certain consultants and we are negotiating with them but it is all in our budget.”

Ron Loebell, from the Save Whalley Village Action Group which is campaigning against house building in the village, said: “It is not surprising at all. The council never listened to the public about this.

“They asked us for observations but as far as I am concerned never really took on board what people were saying.

“Planning applications will just come flooding in for the next six months now.

“My way of looking at it is that all these houses that are going up are between £200,000 and £300,000, but they keep saying they are doing it all to make affordable housing.

“Who on earth has got the the money to buy one of those?”

Comments (3)

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8:43am Wed 30 Jan 13

mavrick says...

Nimbyism and is there some gerrymandering going on in the Ribble valley? God forbid those sort of people who need affordable housing living here.caught out me thinks.
Nimbyism and is there some gerrymandering going on in the Ribble valley? God forbid those sort of people who need affordable housing living here.caught out me thinks. mavrick
  • Score: 0

12:29pm Wed 30 Jan 13

shytalk says...

The core stragegy was developed when Clitheroe was a boom town, Now industry has all but left...It is just so sad that those on the planning comittees could not see things for what they are and no wonder it's time to go back to the drawing board. There would of been some real serious problems in many areas if these planning aplications had beeen allowed go through. As for the develpement companies.They should perhaps look at what has happened in Ireland and Spain.
The core stragegy was developed when Clitheroe was a boom town, Now industry has all but left...It is just so sad that those on the planning comittees could not see things for what they are and no wonder it's time to go back to the drawing board. There would of been some real serious problems in many areas if these planning aplications had beeen allowed go through. As for the develpement companies.They should perhaps look at what has happened in Ireland and Spain. shytalk
  • Score: 0

7:15pm Thu 31 Jan 13

Legal Beagle says...

"We have to employ certain consultants and we are negotiating with them ..."

No, you don't have to employ consultants. You are paid by the taxpayers and rate payers to do this work yourselves, not sit on your backsides reading the paper while you use our money to pay some external firm to do it for you.

It's the curse of modern life that people employ consultants at the drop of a hat. It's bad enough in private companies, but at least they're free to waste their own money if they choose to do so. However, this is OUR money that's being wasted.

Employing consultants is an admission of incompetence, and any fees spent on consultants should be matched pound for pound by a cut in wages paid to these lazy bureaucrats.
"We have to employ certain consultants and we are negotiating with them ..." No, you don't have to employ consultants. You are paid by the taxpayers and rate payers to do this work yourselves, not sit on your backsides reading the paper while you use our money to pay some external firm to do it for you. It's the curse of modern life that people employ consultants at the drop of a hat. It's bad enough in private companies, but at least they're free to waste their own money if they choose to do so. However, this is OUR money that's being wasted. Employing consultants is an admission of incompetence, and any fees spent on consultants should be matched pound for pound by a cut in wages paid to these lazy bureaucrats. Legal Beagle
  • Score: 0

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