MORE than 1,000 homes in Clitheroe — the biggest planning application in the history of the Ribble Valley — were given the go-ahead last night.

Ribble Valley councillors approved plans to build 1,040 houses for the Standen estate, which will be situated between Clitheroe and the A59 bypass.

The proposal was submitted to the borough council in October 2012 by the trustees of the Standen Estate and includes 728 market homes, and 312 affordable homes.

A total of 156 will be for people aged over 55.

Land will also be reserved for retail and community services, with further space earmarked for a primary school.

There will also be space for two children’s play areas and pedestrian and cycle routes.

Council officers recommended that the application was passed by councillors subject to work delegated to the director of community services.

The council’s core strategy, which sets out how many homes can be built in the borough by 2028, is due to be examined by a government inspector on January 14.

No representative from the Standen Estate, or their agents, were present at the council meeting.

However, councillor Bridget Hilton and councillor Robert Thompson were amongst those councillors who spoke in support of the application.

Coun Hilton said the pros outweighed the cons of the application. After an hour long debate in the council chamber, in Church Street, Clitheroe, councillors on the planning and development committee voted to approve the officer’s recommendations.

Clitheroe town council leader, Mary Robinson, said: “I am extremely disappointed that they have passed this.

“I believe that this will be detrimental to the residents of Clitheroe.

“The site will make up around five per cent of the whole of the Ribble Valley.”

Ribble Valley borough councillor Kevin Horkin said: “I feel that this is a monstrous application for the town of Clitheroe.”

Clitheroe resident Ron Levell said: “This has ruined Clitheroe for the future.

“It was almost a foregone conclusion that this would happen, and it has been taken by councillors who don’t even represent Clitheroe.”

Councillor Sue Knox said: “I feel very let down by this. It’s obvious that we need a second vehicular access to this site.

“We have let down the residents of Clitheroe.”

Coun Ian Brown said: “It’s just awful and horrendous. We certainly do not need this.”

Councillors voted to approve officers’ recommendations 10 to five.