Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, has asked the Secretary of State for Housing, James Brokenshire, to make changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which would provide protections to rural areas and give more control to local councils. In recent weeks, Mr Evans wrote to all members of the Ribble Valley Borough Council Planning & Development Committee pleading for action to slow down the number of housing developments being passed in Clitheroe and surrounding areas.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said:
“There is a drastic need for housing in the UK, I am not arguing with that fact. But this does not mean there is drastic need in the Ribble Valley. Each week it seems a new development is underway in Clitheroe, the area is absolutely saturated with new build homes. Clitheroe, Barrow and Whalley have more than played their part in easing the national housing crisis.
“The National Planning Policy Framework is a vital tool to ensure that the government is on track to deliver much-needed homes, but there is little provision to protect areas like the Ribble Valley that have already been flooded with new developments. If building carries on at this level Barrow will become a continuation of Clitheroe.”
Applications to build a further 110 homes in Clitheroe and 184 homes in Whalley have been lodged to Ribble Valley Borough Council this Summer, leaving many residents to voice their concerns over the lack of vital infrastructure to support the increasing population.
Continuing, Mr Evans said:
“The Housing Secretary urgently needs to address the guidelines set by the NPPF, it currently provides ‘one-size-fits-all’ policies which fail to address that housing need in the Ribble Valley is different to housing need in London and the South. I have invited James Brokenshire to visit the Ribble Valley and see first-hand the sheer number of developments and show him plots that are still vacant months after completion.”