Anger over plans to build on ‘battleground’ field

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Plans to build homes on a village field that has a long-held tradition as a Civil War battleground look set to cause widespread debate in Read.

Although no official planning application has been submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council yet, a screening opinion has been put forward for the scheme to erect 50 homes, including 30 bungalows for the over-55s, with associated roads, public open space and a pond. The site earmarked for the development is Hammond Ground off Whalley Road.

At the moment the proposal is in the process of being assessed to determine whether an environmental impact assessment is required as part of a planning application.

According to stories of the village, the land contains the remains of soldiers who fought in the civil war.

It is also said the field contains somef mine shafts along with the remains of soldiers who fought in the Battle of Read Old Bridge in 1643.

This was fought between the Royalist and the Parliamentarian forces. The Royalist force of 4,000 men, commanded by the Earl of Derby, had previously taken Whalley and the opposing army, which only had 400 men, was positioned near Read Old Bridge.

As the Royalist forces approached the bridge they faced musket forces, causing them to retreat.

The screening opinion has been submitted to the council by agent Jane Dickman of Dickman Associates who pointed out the applicant wanted to address the need for housing in the village.

The project would be certain to have a major impact on the village and concerns have already been raised by parish councillors about how the infrastructure of Read would cope as there is only one primary school, no GP surgery and only a handful of shops. A planning application could be submitted within the next few months.

A planning application has also been submitted for the use of land to allow the siting of static caravans on a touring caravan area at Three Rivers Caravan Park in Eaves Lane, West Bradford.

Anyone who wishes to comment on the scheme has until Friday, December 25th.