MP’s warning over ‘huge’ homes schemes

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans
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A Lancashire MP says house-builders have seized the power to decide where to build in the county.

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans, the deputy speaker of the House of Commons, has said he will meet with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to voice his fears over plans for “huge” new house-building plans.

He wants local councils to be given greater backing to knock back applications while a ‘core strategy’ setting the framework for new homes is being drawn up.

The MP has given his backing to large number of new homes developments have been submitted across the Ribble Valley, including at the former Ridings depot in Longridge, where 200 homes are earmarked.

Mr Evans said: “It does seem that more needs to be done so that the council are able to say no to these applications until the core strategy is approved without fear of losing on appeal.

“At the moment the power seems to lie with the developers and that, to my mind, cannot be right.”

The Conservative said he would meet with Communities Secretary Eric Pickles this week to voice his fears over the planned developments.

He has also voiced fears over planned developments in Clitheroe, Whalley and Barrow.

Mr Evans added: “I do not want to see enormous applications that will forever change the nature of our area and drastically alter the quality of life for existing residents.

“The action groups that I have met and others that have contacted me through surgeries or written to the House of Commons are absolutely right to raise their concerns.

“I will continue to fight for the protection of our Ribble Valley, an area of outstanding beauty and community spirit that is being stretched to its limit.”