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25 November 2010
Longridge Councillor Urges 'Prevent developers from getting round public consultation'
By The Reporter @ 08:28 :: 3256 Views :: 0 Comments :: Article Rating

Ken Hind Longridge Councillor and Vice Chairman of the Ribble Valley Conservative Association, has called for public support to stop  developers  from  attempting to get round the public planning consultation on housing and planning for the next 15 years in the Ribble Valley.

The Council is consulting the public on proposals  limiting the construction of houses to 1500 in addition to those which already have planning permission.  Developers are attempting to get round the proposals  by  making pre-planning enquiries or  planning applications on sites subject to  consultation, before the process is completed, to make sure that their development site is included in the future plans of the council. ''

''The solution to this problem is for the Ribble Valley Council and other   councils from all over the country is to lobby Eric Pickles MP, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government , to introduce into the Localism Bill, currently about to be considered by Parliament ,a clause preventing applications on land subject to public consultation until the council finalises it's policy .''

''The people of the Ribble Valley  should use the democratic process to oppose applications which attempt to get round the consultation . It is too late when opposition is reduced to lying down in front of bulldozers.''  

'In Longridge ,the 'Dilworth Triangle' site, which would be  at the heart of the potential 450 dwelling satellite village, in Dilworth Lane and Lower Lane was subject to a pre-planning enquiry  with the Ribble Valley  Borough Council, only 2 days after the public meeting in Longridge to discuss the core strategy consultation  . At this meeting a number of members of the public spoke out strongly against building on the Dilworth Triangle.  

 Fox Strategic Land and Development Limited  have confirmed  that they are making application to build 260 homes  Whittingham Lane, Longridge ,which is in the part of the town in the City of Preston an authority carrying out the same  procedure as Ribble Valley.  Fox are in partnership  with Gladman Developments who have already made a planning application for 80 houses at Henthorn Road, Clitheroe . Two other developers, are in the process of applying for large housing developments in Whalley .The council have not yet decided if any of these  sites will form part of their Local Government framework plan for housing over the next 15 years. This process will take another 12 to 18 months.

Companies like Fox and Gladman are driven by the need to make  profits, whereas the council need to consider  the views of the communities where it is suggested  houses are to be built. 

 ''For owners of land, getting development status for their land is like winning the lottery .They  volunteer their land to  Councils as potential development sites.  Land values of greenfield  sites on receipt of development status, can rise from £7000 an acre to as much as £500,000. Landowners hire the likes of Fox Land and Property and Gladman Developments to push their land for development status,package their planning applications and ultimately find builders to construct the houses  '' 

Recently Fox failed in a public enquiry to obtain planning permission to build  500 dwellings in Failand , North  Somerset. The company is involved in  a 3000 houses application in Loughborough .They are acting with another landowner by  making  representations to  Castle Point Council in Essex  as part of their Core Strategy consultation . ''

 ''Attempts made to get round the views of the public subverts the democratic process and brings the system into disrepute. Those who are anxious to make their land available for part  of  the 1500 new homes proposed to be built in the next 15 years, should be made top wait until the public consultation is complete.

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