In explaining these issues it is worth reminding villagers on the role of the Parish Council in dealing with planning matters. The Parish Council is consulted on all planning applications submitted within our area. We also deal with complaints on unauthorised development. In both cases we listen to representations from local people and send our comments and recommendations to the Borough Council who are the Local Planning Authority and make decisions on planning applications and enforcement matters. In most cases these decisions are taken by the Barrowford and Western Parishes Area Committee but some are referred to the Policy and Resources Committee. Any application refused can be the subject of an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, an agency of central government.
In dealing with planning matters the Parish Council’s approach is very much determined by what we see as duty to protect the amenity of our beautiful countryside and the character of buildings. The Parish is wholly within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This is a nationally designated area and is afforded a very high level of protection from development which threatens the character of the area. This protection is also reflected in the Pendle Local Plan.
Of the three planning issues on our last agenda one related to a large picture window on Dabs House, the new house at the junction of Ridge Lane and Blacko Bar Road. The design of the house was approved on appeal and included traditional mullion widows. The large picture window is unauthorised and out of character with the approved scheme and has been the subject of complaint locally. After representations from the Parish Council the Borough Council have resolved to take enforcement action.
Two separate applications have also been made to build two large houses on open land outside of the village boundary. One involves development in the open land across the river to the south of Blacko Bar Road (search reference 19/0535/FUL on the Pendle BC planning portal to view and comment). The other is in the field off Barley New Road between Thorneyholme Hall and the Jinny Lane junction (search reference 19/0475/OUT on the Pendle BC planning portal to view and comment). This second application is an amended scheme. A similar application was refused in January 2019 (reference 18/0733/OUT) and is now subject to appeal.
Both applications are made by local people and, in one case a local need justification was put forward. Having listened to the applicants the Parish Council decided to recommend the refusal of both applications. If allowed the schemes would result in highly visible and intrusive development in the AONB. Approval could also result in the development of similar sites throughout Pendleside. It remains to be seen what decisions the Borough Council will make but the Parish Council is determined to do all we can to protect our beautiful area from unjustified and speculative development.
— Andrew Walker – Chair, Roughlee Parish Council