Roughlee Parish News

April 2019 – Parish News

The Merry Month of May, and changes are afoot! Truthfully, not much is changing on the Roughlee Parish Council front. The existing seven members of the Parish Council have all put themselves forward for re-election and, because there are no other candidates, they are all dully elected to serve again. This is not the case with the Borough Council Ward Member for Higham and Pendleside. Our long standing Ward Councillor and the outgoing Mayor of Pendle, James Starkie, is retiring from Pendle Council and on May 2nd and an election will take place for his successor. There are two candidates, one labour and one conservative. They have a very hard act to follow but, whoever is successful, they will be welcome to attend out Parish Council meetings and we look forward to a long and fruitful working relationship.

Planning

The April Parish Council meeting was dominated by consideration of a planning application for three large houses to the south of Blacko Bar Road, essentially filling in the space between Happy Valley and the woodland opposite Dam Head Farm. The meeting was attended by the applicants who argued their case on a local needs basis and emphasised the quality of the design. Whilst acknowledging the detailed merits of the design the Parish Council were unanimously opposed to the application which would be highly damaging to the landscape and character of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are other major concerns relating, for example, to habitat damage and access arrangements. The full text of the Parish Council objection can be viewed on the Pendle Planning web page and search for application 19/0133/FUL. A number of individual objections can also be viewed and it is encouraging that local people are willing and able to articulate their thoughts in this way.

Normally the next stage would involve the Borough Council’s planning officer considering the objections and making a recommendation to the Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee. In this case the application has been withdrawn on 16th April, possibly because of the highway issues, so the matter now ends unless the application is resubmitted.

In the event of a resubmission we would very much hope that the planning officer will agree with the objections raised but this is by no means guaranteed. Indeed a similar application for two large houses Off Barley Road, south of Thorneyholme Hall, was initially recommended for approval but, following strong representations and a large petition from villagers, this was refused by the Committee. The concern relating to intrusions into our valued countryside is shared by neighbouring villages and we need a common purpose to protect the AONB. What these applications show is that opportunistic attempts by land owners and developers will continue until there is a firmer planning policy basis for controlling development. This basis will be provided by the forthcoming Local Plan Part 2 but this is now well behind schedule. In the meantime the Parishes have a key role in the protection of Pendleside.

Next Meeting & Parish Gathering

Due to the local elections and the May Bank Holiday the date for the next Parish Council meeting is now Monday 13th May. This will incorporate the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council which is a statutory meeting where the various officers of the Parish are appointed. Whilst this and every other meeting of the Parish Council is open to the public, and we very much welcome your involvement, the big one is the PARISH GATHERING which is arranged for Monday 17th June. This is an open meeting to all residents of Roughlee and we aim to make it an informative and entertaining event. A number of speakers and presentations are in hand followed by wine and nibbles. Further details in the next Parish News but please make a note of the date.

— Andrew Walker – Chair, Roughlee Parish Council