LETTER: Two things I have learnt from this...
REGARDING the field at Littlemoor, Clitheroe, there are two things I have learned about local planning:
First, the Lancashire County Council Highways Officer is a law unto himself and as a Statutory Consultee his word cannot be ignored – even though it confuses dangerous junctions (Littlemoor with Whalley Road) and solutions as in improving bus stops!
Second, public consultation includes business interests as well.
As to the first, earlier in the Ribble Valley planning committee meeting on November 8th the RSPB Officer could be ignored on herons at a site at Devil’s Elbow, Read, as he was not a Statutory Consultee, but the word of the Highways Officer as a Statutory Consultee (on the plan for 49 houses on the field at Littlemoor) must not be ignored. If the recommendation for approval was turned down and the applicants successfully appealed against that, then a truckload of money would be demanded of the Planning Authority!
As to the latter, I spoke at the previous planning meeting on October 11th on the field at Littlemoor, but this time was gazumped by Janet Dixon planning agents to speak under Public Participation as objectors. Sadly they said no more than what they had e-mailed all planning committee members before that last meeting, the result being this was for commercial reasons and not the residents (they represent the former Barkers site and are not happy with the perceived lack of judgement by the Highways Officer).
The Planning Committee voted through the approval nine votes to five, but I really hope that in future dealings with the Highways Officer are more robust to reflect highways issues for when they are presented to Planning Committee and that public participation on planning decisions is for and on behalf of residents, not business interests.