CONTROVERSIAL plans to build more than 30 bungalows for the over 55s have been refused.

Bosses at Ribble Valley Council have rejected plans to build 34 bungalows on land in the south east part of Clitheroe and demolish an existing bungalow at the site.

The decision, which came during Ribble Valley Council’s planning committee meeting last Thursday (September 6), was made by elected members due to the lack of affordable housing offered by housing developer, Applethwaite Ltd.

Out of the 34 bungalows that were proposed, which would be a mix of one, two and three bedroomed, just four of these would be affordable bungalows.

This means the proposal fails to comply with the council’s core strategy to offer a minimum of 20 per cent affordable housing.

The site, owned by trustees of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Foundation, is 1.97 hectares of agricultural land. A total of 16 letters of objection were sent to the local authority from 13 individual households, including one letter with a petition from 90 signatures.

Lancashire County Council’s highways team had also raised concerns the developer were not willing to put road access into the site up to the ‘adoptable standard’ set by County Hall.

Following last Thursday’s meeting Cllr Susan Knox, who represents the area, has hit out at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Foundation Trust for trying to ‘push through’ an application that she claims residents do not want.

The ward councillor said: “I am disappointed that Clitheroe Royal Grammar School Foundation Trust as the local land owner tried to push through an application that residents don’t want.

“However, when we refuse things, we cannot do so based on emotion, only under planning law. They only wanted to provide a desultory 10 per cent of the homes on the site as affordable, at a time when affordable accommodation is at a premium.

“At the moment the council has a five year land supply, so additional developments that have no added benefits such as much affordable housing, are neither wanted or needed.”

Colin Hetherington, managing director of Applethwaite Homes, said:“We understood the decision of the committee on the evening and will look to discuss further with officers in due course.”