Campaigners, who are hoping to halt plans to build 50 homes on a treasured slice of green land in their village, have set up an action group to go into battle.
And they are arguing that the plan to build the houses on the Hammond Ground site in Read is part of a long term aim to flood the village with houses. They are also arguing that the land is an outstanding landscape and as part of the Read Hall estate. legend states that the dead from a Civil War skirmish in 1643 are buried there.
But campaigners are also claiming the plan presents a potential threat to the “Ribble Valley Core Strategy” which was introduced in 2014 to regulate planning applications in the borough. In the Core Strategy it states that Read and Simonstone should provide 45 properties to the housing supply in Ribble Valley to 2028.
Action group members point out that if one application currently underway is finally approved there would just be four more dwellings to build to 2028 in Read and Simonstone out of the 45 set out in the Strategy. The applicants say the figure in the Strategy is a minimum and argue that 33 of the 50 houses will be bungalows for people over the age of 55. They claim this allows them to build more houses than allowed for in the Strategy. The Action Group are claiming this is a device by the landowners to try and get around the “numbers” problem they have with the Strategy. But campaigners claim there are inadequate facilities for thoser growing older in the village as there is no medical provision. A spokesman said: “If this attempt at finding a loophole by suggesting large numbers of bungalows will be built were to succeed this will provide a blueprint for other landowners and developers.”