County council candidate calls on Clitheroe Town Council to create Neighbourhood Plan to further protect green spaces

Clitheroe Conservative County Council candidate Sue Hind has called upon the Clitheroe Town Council to create a Neighbourhood Plan for the town to provide a third layer of rules that every planning applicant will have to satisfy.

Mrs Hind commented : "Since 2011 when the Localism Act put Neighbourhood Plans on the statute book, the Liberal Democrat dominated Clitheroe Town Council has failed to take advantage of the opportunity to provide a third layer of planning rules which every applicant will have to satisfy.

"Any application for planning consent for example in Longridge where they already have a Neighbourhood Plan has to satisfy the requirements of three sets of rules - like a horse in a national hunt race with three fences to jump: the first Government's National Planning Law, the second the borough council's local plan and the third is the town's Neighbourhood Plan.

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''Clitheroe residents could provide reasons for rejection or require changes in a planning application to prevent inappropriate development, improve infrastructure and the type and density of homes built. We know that more emphasis is needed to be placed on starter homes to get young people on the housing ladder and bungalows for our ageing population.

"A Neighbourhood Plan would give the people of Clitheroe an additional say on planning applications as well as a local opportunity to influence our town's development. It is not a silver bullet but will involve all residents as it have to be approved by voters in a town referendum.

"Grants are available from the Government to help deliver this. Borough council officers will work with the Clitheroe Town Council as they worked with Longridge Town Council in order to get it implemented.

''In the last month two further planning applications have been passed; 57 houses in Hawthorne Place and 125 at Highmoor. There seems to be never ending march of developers with their voracious appetites to build large houses on the green fields of Clitheroe."

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A Neighbourhood Plan would provide a third layer of rules for an applicant to satisfy with the government grants available. The council is required to have a five year supply of development land by Planning Law to reject housing applications, RVBC has a 13.4 year supply of development land (RVBC figures 30th March 2020).

Mrs Hind added: ''If the town council does not want to develop a Neighbourhood Plan then I will form a Clitheroe Community Group of interested residents if elected, apply for a grant and write a plan for the town which will have legal force."

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