Residents in an East Lancashire town have been left bitterly disappointed after the council approved plans for 57 new homes, despite solid opposition from councillors and the local community.

People living in Clitheroe, who state their area is already over-developed, were dealt another blow after Ribble Valley Borough Council approved plans to build 57 new homes on land at the end of Hawthorne Place.

Hawthorne Place - the planning notice

Hawthorne Place - the planning notice

Persimmon Homes lodged the application on December 17 2019 to build a mix of two, three, four and five-bedroomed terrace, semi-detached and detached properties, but residents living on Hawthorne Place and adjoining Waddington Road said the development would cause more traffic, road safety and infrastructure problems in the already congested town.

At the time, Clitheroe Residents Action Group (CRAG), a group that monitors infrastructure issues caused by the building of new homes in the town, urged residents to formally object, after receiving numerous complaints about the plans, saying: "Enough is enough for Clitheroe and we all need to try our best to stop our lovely market town becoming one huge over-priced housing estate.”

John Long, of Hawthorne Place said: “People in the area can’t believe what Persimmon are proposing.

“The development of more houses will cause huge problems regarding traffic.

"The junction is already gridlocked at peak times with cars trying to get on and off Waddington Road.

“This in conjunction with the 300 houses being built near the cemetery, with the additional traffic generated from those putting even more pressure on Waddington Road.

“It’s painful at the best of times.”

Hawthorne Place - narrow roads getting in and out of Hawthorne Place

Hawthorne Place - narrow roads getting in and out of Hawthorne Place

Mr Long said the local infrastructure was also a concern, with former leader of Ribble Valley Council, councillor Ken Hind asking residents to take time to object.

But following the approval last week, home owners have called the decision an 'absolute disgrace', saying they have 'lost the Clitheroe they loved'.

Luke Tyrell, who lives in Clitheroe said: "It's clear for anyone to see, that all these new homes are affecting the already stretched infrastructure of the town, unless you're working on the council's planning committee that is.

"I can't understand how local residents' opposition to this estate count for nothing."

Another resident commented: "Absolute disgrace. There is neither a need nor a justification for even more building on another green space.

"How much was in the envelope?"

Hawthorne Place - residents do not want more homes

Hawthorne Place - residents do not want more homes

While another said: "Getting out of Waddington Road from under the bridge will be a nightmare. It's bad enough now.

"We have lost the Clitheroe we loved."

All four Liberal Democrat councillors on the planning committee, as well as at least one Conservative councillor, voted against the plans at the meeting last week.

Hawthorne Place - residents take action

Hawthorne Place - residents take action

But following the decision, backed by majority Tory councillors, Liberal Democrat, Cllr Sue Knox said: “Residents will feel thoroughly let down that the Tory councillors, who in September voted to refuse a new estate at the end of Hawthorne Place, tonight changed their minds and approved 57 new build houses.”