Lack of common sense in planning decisions

The other Thursday, RVBC Planning Dept and Planning Committee voted in favour of the building of three houses in the gardens of Hazelmere, a house designated a “Heritage Asset” and within Clitheroe Conservation Area.

Despite fierce opposition by the community, representations on their behalf at the Planning meeting detailing the issues regarding this development and a motion to reject from Couns Yearing and Knox, the application was passed narrowly by eight votes to seven.

What was astounding was the lack of any discussion or debate on the issues that were brought up regarding the damage to a heritage asset, the balance between its “hard” and “soft” landscaping, the lack of any road safety guidance from the Highways Authority and the issues of standing traffic from the Well Terrace roundabout - this development was passed on the nod from our Planning Dept saying it would have no effect on the area and that it was “in sympathy” with its surroundings. That alone was enough for the majority of the Planning Committee to approve.

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At the meeting I also stated that if this was passed, Hazelmere could no longer be considered a Heritage asset and the approval would open the door to other applications within the Conservation Area. This was also dismissed out of hand by the Planning Dept, but I ask you, if they can approve three houses in the garden of a Heritage Asset and within the Conservation Area, then why not your extension, or your double glazing, or a large garden shed?

For those of you wishing to preserve what we have left of our heritage be mindful of this development and for those of you in the Conservation Area wishing to try to get your plans approved, just quote this application #3/2015/0029, as part of your submission.

To our Town Planners, your lack of common sense has failed us all, the gate is now open on development within the Conservation Area as your decision changes everything.

Mark French,

Pimlico Road, Clitheroe