Mountains of paperwork for small planning applications

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I read with interest the letter where the writer could not understand why planning consent has been given for the monstrosity that is being erected where Sawley Lodge once sat so unobtrusively, among old trees and woodland, part of which had been designated as ancient woodland by the Woodland Trust.

The village seems divided on the matter. Half are very unhappy about the situation, the other half excited by the prospect of a wealthy individual building a huge house and living in the village. Shallow? Yes indeed.

However, this is not the first controversial planning decision that has been passed. Southport Farm, which is owned by an absentee landlord, who has previously rented the listed building farmhouse to a tenant who was convicted of dealing in drugs from there and didn’t care what kind of state the surrounding area was in. The landlord has now decided to inflict further misery on the village and applied for planning consent for the surrounding fields to be turned into a caravan park. Despite massive objections for the village, the plans were passed by Ribble Valley Borough Council.

Yet if a villager wants to do the smallest thing or build an extension, the hoops they have to jump through are enormous. Lots of reports and mountains of paperwork are required and then often the applications are rejected.

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