Plans to build 39 homes in Clitheroe rejected after government inspector dismisses appeal

Clitheroe residents are celebrating after a long-disputed housing scheme was finally scuppered by a government inspector.

The decision on the 39-home estate at the junction of Chatburn Road and Pimlico Link Road in Clitheroe follows a long battle.

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Originally Ribble Valley Council had rejected the planning application for the scheme by Kendal-based Oakmere Homes.

The 39-home estate had been earmarked for land at the junction of Chatburn Road and Pimlico Link Road in Clitheroe.

The firm appealed the decision and was given the go-ahead by the Planning Inspectorate, but the decision was challenged by Ribble Valley Borough Council and quashed by the High Court last November.

Judge Nigel Bird sent the matter back to the inspectorate for redetermination saying that the original planning inspector Graham Robbie has ‘misunderstood’ the borough’s Core Strategy for determining such applications.

Now after a second hearing the government’s Planning Inspectorate has dismissed Oakmere Homes appeal and confirmed the council original rejection of its plan to build the 39 houses.

Local Salthill ward’s Coun. Ian Brown said his residents would be pleased at the decision.

Ribble Valley Council leader Stephen Atkinson hailed it as a vindication of the borough’s Core Strategy which aims to protect the countryside in the borough from housing over-development.

The inspectorate’s dismissal of the appeal concluded that the development ‘would not be in a suitable location for housing’.

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Coun. Brown said: “My residents who have campaigned against this will be very pleased.

“This has been a long saga which has gone on for ages.

“I am pleased that all the efforts of residents and councillors have been vindicated.”

Coun. Atkinson said: “Our officers work hard to ensure the right type of development takes place in the right locations across the borough and we welcome this decision, which supports and protects our Core Strategy.”

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Nicola Hopkins, Ribble Valley Council’s director of economic development and planning, said: “Our Core Strategy sets out what can be built in the borough and where, shaping infrastructure investments and determining future development.

“It seeks to direct housing to sustainable locations and protect the borough’s open countryside, which is a top priority.

“The original High Court ruling and this recent appeal decision confirms the correct application of our Core Strategy and that development in the countryside will only be allowed when justified by local need.”

Oakmere Homes declined to comment.