Sabden residents to continue fight against new homes

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Residents in Sabden say they will continue to fight plans for new housing in Sabden.

An outline application for a residential development of 14 houses and three bungalows, plus a new access road on land to the rear of Pendle Street East was deferred at Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning and development committee meeting on Thursday evening.

Councillors had originally opposed the controversial application submitted by P & D Developments by seven votes to three, however, it was then decided more research into highways issues in Sabden was required by Lancashire County Council.

Speaking after the meeting, Sabden councillor Richard Newmark said: “Traffic congestion is a major problem in the village.

“We have an award-winning bowling club in Sabden, which is situated opposite the entrance to the proposed site. This is a very important leisure activity for villagers boasting over 120 members and it regularly attracts players from outside the town who drive to the facility. There is also the popular football club and the area is gridlocked at peak times. In addition, Sabden has very little employment and therefore everybody is commuting out of the village and at 8 am in the mornings traffic is chaotic. If more housing is given the go-ahead, this will escalate the traffic and parking problems around Pendle Street East. Residents have already had to deal with the redevelopment of Victoria Mills where planning permission has been passed for 70 homes and there have been 44 houses built by Calico at the site of the former Cobden’s cotton mill. Half of those are empty!”

Coun. Newmark added: “Residents will continue to fight this application because if the houses are built, this could attract a further 300 new cars in the Pendle Street East and Watt Street areas, which the village cannot cope with. The development is on greenfield site and there is the issue of visual amenity that needs addressing, plus the estate could alter the natural drainage of the site, resulting in potential flooding.”

Coun. Newmark went on to praise members of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s planning committee for their support. He added: “This is such an emotive issue for Sabden villagers and the councillors have been very helpful.”