LETTER: ‘Equitable’ number of new homes needed in Ribble Valley

The Ribble Valley is now into the third week of a six-week public consultation to discover which of the council’s eight house building options the public would like to see adopted.

Thursday, 28th July 2011, 5:31 pm

In the officer’s report to the June 16th planning and development committee meeting our councillors were told the majority of replies from last August’s public consultation preferred an alternative option to the three offered by the council, and of those a majority “suggested development should be spread throughout the borough’s towns and villages rather than concentrating it mainly in only three settlements”.

Alternative option C proposes: “Development will be distributed across the borough to allow an appropriate scale of develoment within all the borough’s settlements”. What I think the author of this option means is that under option C the 3,000 new houses that have been imposed on the Ribble Valley will be spread across the valley in proportion to the number of households in each settlement, and the growth of each settlement will be controlled by a percentage common to all. For example, Clitheroe, with the largest population and number of households would get, say 800 houses, Copster Green 22 and Paythorne, one of the smallest settlements, five.

If this is the council’s intention and I believe it is, the present wording of option C needs amending. By putting a 5% limit on individual schemes only, a developer would submit any number of applications with a similar 5% limit. Far from regulating development the present wording could open the door to uncontrolled development. Perhaps “equitable” rather than “appropriate” would have been a better choice of word. Appropriate is open to too many interpretations.

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