D-Day for the Dilworth Hill plan

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Campaigners in Longridge are facing a planning D-Day tonight when the decision will be made on the future of Dilworth Hill.

Housing giant Taylor Wimpey’s application for 220 houses on land off Dilworth Lane is recommended for approval at Ribble Valley borough’s planning meeting tonight.

The Save Longridge objectors, fighting to stop the planning process or delay it until the borough’s Core Strategy is ratified in a few weeks, have lobbied councillors and supporters to attend the meeting in force.

Campaigners and local councillors are down to speak against the outline application for the properties, proposed for the green field site at the entrance to Longridge from the Ribble Valley. The plans are down for apporval with 22 conditions.

The Save Longridge campaign has gathered pace at an impressive speed over the last few weeks as members have lobbied planning committee members, MP Nigel Evans, the town council and ward councillors in a last ditch attempt to stop the Dilworth Hill development.

New lamppost signs should create last minute awareness, they stress, of the scale of the decision for current and future generations of Longridge people. Campaigners have railed against the potential destruction of the eastern entry to the town.

Hundred of objections were submitted to Ribble Valley borough council to the initial application.

Since then borough and town councillors have met with the Taylor Wimpey team before council meetings, and with campaigners present, to focus on issues which could have long-term effects on Longridge and its surrounding area.

Hundreds of concerned people have posted their views on Facebook and Twitter and the online petiton. and the one to Parliament is due to be handed in there next week.

In a statement, Save Longridge stressed “there are other strategic sites in Longridge either submitted or about to be resubmitted or pending, which take the number of houses way over what is needed for the town.

“All of the reasons cited for the Barratt Homes application off Chipping Lane - which was subsequently turned down - are the same for the Taylor Wimpey applications – 
but there has to be consistency in what is needed for Longridge”

They add “the borough council confirms we have sufficient land supply for the next five years - so what’s the rush? Why are there no rules in place to ensure that existing approved land and brownfield sites are built on ahead of any more applications being approved? This suggests the builders can simply sit on the land as in the case of that held for so many years at Whittingham Hospital.

We appeal for as many residents of Longridge to spare an hour tomorrow to attend what is guaranteed to be a lively meeting!”

The meeting will be held tonight at 6.30pm at Ribble Valley Council offices in Church Street, Clitheroe.