Building should be stopped until traffic problems sorted

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In the article “Residents win homes battle” in the Advertiser, Coun. Stuart Hirst is quoted as saying: “The Planning Inspectorate has dismissed the Waddow View appeal due to the significant highways problems likely to be caused by a development of this size in this location.

“This is a direct challenge to advice given by the Lancashire Highways Authority that such problems would be minimal. Furthermore, the fact the highways authority withdrew its objections at the last minute left the borough council’s planning committee in the difficult position of being unable to include traffic congestion in its reasons for refusal.

“Although the committee still refused the application, the refusal was on far less robust grounds and it is therefore unsurprising subsequent legal advice suggested that defending the appeal might prove costly and unsuccessful.”

In April/May 2013 I was in correspondence with Jo Turton, Executive Director for the Environment at Lancashire County Council (now acting Chief Executive) with responsibility for highways regarding a submission I had made to her about traffic congestion in Clitheroe, in which I had criticised her department for withdrawing its objections to the Henthorn Road North and South and the Waddow View applications.

In her letter to me dated May 17th 2013, she stated in her final paragraph: “It should be borne in mind our recommendationsto the planning authority form only a part of the planning authority’s considerations of a proposal. There are cases where a highway-related objection will be set aside because other factors of the development are sufficiently desirable and there are cases where the planning authority will present its own highway-related grounds for refusing planning permission where Lancashire County Council,as the highway authority, is content.”

In view of that statement, Coun. Hirst can in no way contend the borough council’s hands were tied in an attempt to excuse the mishandling of these applications by the planning committee. This conclusion is further bolstered by the fact that, in the case of the Standen application, it would appear Jo Turton’s guidance was followed to the letter bearing in mind LCC have serious reservations about access and egress to and from this site.

In view of the above and the conflicting statements on traffic issues made by the Strategic Land Group, can I repeat what I said in a previous letter, the Henthorn Road South outline planning approval should be revoked and construction work on the Henthorn Road North site should be suspended until the traffic problems have been resolved.

Andrew Moore,

Kenilworth Drive, Clitheroe