SABDEN: Residents’ Association fights homes plans

BEST KEPT VILLAGE – Sabden has been highly commended in this year’s Lancashire Best Kept Village competition. The village came third in the medium village class behind Caton and Newton with Scales. There were 17 entries in this category with the final judging by Bishop of Lancaster the Rt Rev. Geoffrey Pearson. There was also success for Sabden Bowling Club which won the best bowling green category.

BOWLING – Sabden Bowling Club’s B Team played at the Free Gardeners Club, Rishton, in the semis and finals of the Hyndburn and District Team Bowling Competition. Sabden beat Whalley by 152 points to 115 to progress to the final where they were beaten by Globe Accrington, first division champions, by 145 points to 142. It was an excellent day weatherwise, there was top-class bowling and a good turnout of spectators.

ROADWORKS – Padiham Road through Sabden will be closed to traffic from today until October 9th while work takes place to rebuild the collapsed wall and road. Bus users will be affected as the Burnley and Pendle Mainline will not serve Sabden between Clitheroe and Burnley. Instead journeys will operate between Read and Whalley and a shuttle bus (no. 27) will run between Clitheroe via the Nick of Pendle, into Sabden Four Lanes and onto Whalley Bus Station where there will be a connection with normal journeys to and from Burnley. Concerns about the closure were expressed at last week’s parish council meeting. Shippy’s shop was concerned about loss of trade from passing traffic and asked for “business as usual” signs. Residents of 79 to 85 Padiham Road were to lose access to their driveways during the work and other residents had asked for the village car park to waive charges during the closure. Parish council chairman Michael Calvert is to ask Ribble Valley Council about free parking.

PACT – The next meeting of PACT – Police And Community Together – will be on Monday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the White Hart. The public can meet the village police team to discuss any matter and officers will give their monthly report.

COUNCIL – The September meeting of Sabden Parish Council was held in the Institute Room at St Nicholas’s Church Hall. Chairman Coun. Michael Calvert welcomed councillors John Shorter, Marion Procter, Ricky Newmark, Tony Haworth, Patricia Newmark, Dean Lindsey and three members of the public. Apologies were received from Michael Hodds and Bernard Parfitt. Councillors discussed a planning application for a single-storey extension behind 15 Clitheroe Road and excavation of the driveway to which there were no objections. A plan had also been submitted for the demolition of a store and piggeries at Dean Farm, off Stubbins Lane, which is Sabden’s oldest building dating back to 1537 and Grade II listed. The buildings were no longer used and in a dangerous condition and councillors had no objections.

SIGNS – The issue of advertising boards in the village was again raised. Councillors resolved that fixed/permanent signs advertising businesses were not allowed on parish council land and the one advertising the deli, especially as it is on the main crossroads, should be removed. They wanted to support local people, but other businesses had raised the point they would not be allowed permanent signs so the same rule should apply to all. The new Cauldron Cafe had put up temporary paper signs, which councillors said were unsightly, and were in discussion with the parish council about better signage. The chairman was to talk again to the borough council and get advice about the matter as they are keen to help all the businesses.

OTHER MATTERS – A member of the public complained about wheelie bins left outside properties permanently, looking unsightly. She said some householders never took bins in between collections. She was also concerned about borough council staff leaving the white hessian sacks, after collection days, to fly about, littering the village. A letter was to be sent to Ribble Valley Council and householders are asked to take their bins in as soon as possible after they are emptied. There was criticism of the organisers of the recent duck race who had not removed large advertising boards in the village and at the end of Whalley Road and had moved stones in Sabden Brook to make a channel for the ducks but had not put them back. The water course needs to remain as it is to protect the ecology. Councillors have been given permission by the Environment Agency to go into the brook to clear out dense vegetation which has become overgrown. Four members volunteered to do the work and the lengthsman will dispose of it. The chairman reported that the borough council would not include Sabden football ground for nomination for QEII Playing Fields status. Coun. Newmark reported the same arrangements will be in place, with a one-way traffic system, on Hallowe’en this year. It was reported that Falcon House, on the former Contrast Upholstery site at Cobden Mill, had gone on the market with full planning permission for six private offices with the possibility of more, and 23 parking spaces. Part of the site was earmarked for housing, but Falcon House has to remain as commercial/industrial use. Coun. Newmark reported that Ribble Valley Homes had funding in place to start building affordable homes in the Ribble Valley and work was likely to start next year. A site at wetlands off Whalley Road has been earmarked for one of their developments.

CULVERT – Long-awaited work to repair the culvert under Wesley Street to prevent flooding is to go ahead. Coun. Ricky Newmark reported that a meeting this week would result in approval for work to go ahead with Ribble Valley and Lancashire County Councils involved as no one had come forward to take ownership of the culvert from Badger Wells to the crossroads in the centre of the village. There has been severe flooding from the damaged culvert affecting the back of homes in Wesley Street and leaving the village under water in recent years.

RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION – Villagers are invited to the next meeting of Sabden Residents’ Association in St Mary’s Community Hall on Tuesday, September 20th, at 7 p.m. Thirty people attended the July meeting chaired by Mrs Patricia Newmark, which covered a range of issues involving the development of the village and controversial Ribble Valley Core Strategy, which looks at future housing needs. Coun. Ricky Newmark, the borough councillor, outlined a number of points including that Victoria Mill, Cobden Mill and Whalley Road wetland sites, that have been passed for housing developments, will be counted in any allocation of new homes for Sabden since 2008. Individual objections to the controversial G6 redesignation of open spaces, which Sabden people fear could lead to them losing open spaces such as the allotments in Clitheroe Road, were recommended. Land agents Ingham and Yorke have said that there is no intention to build on the Clitheroe Road land, however the lease is to be renewed on a yearly basis. A resident had distributed a template letter of objection to help residents in the Clitheroe Road, Top Row and Bury Row areas. In response to a question, Coun. Newmark said that there would be no compulsory purchase of land as it was owned by Standen Estates, which can sell if it chooses. The current infrastructure of Sabden cannot support more housing and many see Sabden as a satellite village to Whalley. Coun. Newmark was asked if any planners who make decisions on housing developments were sympathetic to Sabden’s concerns and said many lived in rural areas and enjoyed village life. He also highlighted a lack of sheltered housing, combined with an ageing population, and said “affordable housing” will create properties which are still relatively expensive in Sabden and other Ribble Valley villages compared to like-for-like properties in surrounding urban areas. A resident said that Sabden had to support some change, in moderation, and could some of the new homes planned be eco houses and could villagers buy the land and then determine its future. The effects of new homes on schools, traffic and increased crime were discussed. Some villagers stressed the formation of the residents’ association can be of benefit for future issues and showing a united front against proposals. It was felt that more residents needed to attend public meetings and individuals should also object directly to Ribble Valley Council. A community page had been set up on Facebook by a member of the association. A resident commented he had sent 40 letters of objection from villagers which did not seem to be accounted for in Ribble Valley Council’s figures. In answer to a question, Coun. Newmark said residents’ associations could access grants to help with printing costs, mailshots etc. but only if the assocation contributed itself and opened a bank account. He added that if the association set out a constitution it would be taken more seriously. This is to be looked into. On other matters, concerns were raised about new flats in Clitheroe Road which had been built without the room for 1.6 cars per residence, which current planning rules specify, as it was assumed people in low-cost housing would not have 1.6 cars per property. Residents raised the issue of the height of the building, suggesting it did not match initial plans. It was also mentioned that the plans specified building from natural stone, which had not been the case. Coun. Newmark said he would look into this.