Roughlee Parish News

July 2021 – Parish News

I don’t like starting our monthly village news on a negative note but, as of today, 20th July, our village is very badly impacted by the works being carried out by United Utilities at the Happy Valley junction. The extent of these works affects all four routes at the junction. The works have resulted in the formal closure of the road for three weeks from 12th July and whilst arrangements are in place to allow some traffic to pass the local bus service has been reduced or cancelled. The loss of the bus service has created particular difficulties for those residents who rely on the buses for hospital appointments and other vital services.

Roadworks

From what I understand the works to the water connections were largely finished by 16th July so the road could and should have been opened and bus services resumed within one week instead of the three weeks closure. However, worse was to come and on the 15th July the water contractor managed to sever the telephone and internet line serving a great many residents at Thorneyholme, Whitehough and beyond. The lack of decent mobile signals in these areas exacerbates the problem suffered by residents. On the 19th July I was able to talk to the engineer looking into restoring the telephone line. He thought it was not a big job but could not give a date for completion. I hope that by the time you read this the service will have been restored and that United Utilities, who have conspicuous by their absence or the past few days, may return and finish off their works to reduce further inconvenience to residents.

What I find particularly annoying is the total lack of information and communication from Lancashire County Council who authorise road closures or from United Utilities. Some months ago the Parish Council, following the closure of Pasture Lane, received assurances from LCC that we would be consulted and kept informed of future closures. Clearly this has not happened but we will try to make the system work in the future. To this end we are seeking support from our new County Councillor, Howard Hartley.

Planning

Another new development in the village is the proposal by the Forest of Pendle Leisure Park to create four additional caravan plots. Many will be aware that in September last year the site owners began to carve up the south east corner of the site creating an ugly scar and damaging some existing planting. An application has now been made to regularise these unauthorised works and to create the four new plots. The application includes proposal to retain the area around the plots and to protect the existing trees. Whilst the approach of carrying out the works without first obtaining approval is to be deplored, what is now proposed will remove the ugly scar. The options would seem to be the restoration of the original ground levels or approval of the proposal. This decision will be made by Pendle Council but the Parish Council will formulate its response in due course.

Parish council meetings

On a more positive note the meeting of the Parish Council on 5th July was held in the Village Centre. Whilst we followed the necessary safety precautions it was good to meet face to face again. We had a full agenda and continue to progress proposals for the Heritage Project and the Village Green. Dates for the Parish Gathering and the Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch will be promulgated soon. As a further sign that normality is returning a few of us adjourned to the Bay Horse after the meeting.

Roughlee Village Centre

The Village Centre Committee are also back in action and are hosting a number of private events including weddings. They are also preparing a number of social events to take place in the next couple of months. Details of these will be circulated separately so please look out for details. Let us also hope that these and other activities can go ahead without further coronavirus restrictions.

— Andrew Walker – Chair, Roughlee Parish Council