Out-Law / Your Daily Need-To-Know

Concerns over highway safety matters have led Secretary of State (SoS) Eric Pickles to dismiss a proposal for a residential development and a crèche in Clitheroe in Lancashire.

A consortium of landowners lodged an appeal after Ribble Valley Borough Council refused to grant permission to the proposals in 2012 on grounds that the scheme would cause harm to the rural landscape in the area.

The SoS said in his decision letter (86-page / 408KB PDF) that the "modest" harm to the countryside landscape, its usage and public and private views thereof did not constitute a cogent reason for dismissing the appeal.

He also found that the Council could not demonstrate a five year housing land supply in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and that the presumption in favour of sustainable development therefore applied "unless material circumstances dictated otherwise".

However, the SoS said that a number of highway objections raised were "compelling", including unresolved highway and flooding issues at Waddington Road and the creation of "significant" congestion at the Waterloo Road and Shawbridge Street junction.

Pickles said that adding to the existing levels of traffic at Kirkmoor Road and Castle View, as well as the scheme's environmental impact on that route, were "appreciable negative factors". He said that the highways issues raised "overriding negative arguments" against the proposals and that their impacts were "severe" under the NPPF.

The SoS concluded that the adverse impacts of allowing the appeal proposal would "significantly and demonstratively outweigh the benefits". 

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