Council Success as Government Dismisses Clitheroe Housing Development

Published: 31st August 2022

The Government’s Planning Inspectorate has dismissed an appeal for the proposed building of 39 houses in Clitheroe.

And Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson today hailed the Inspectorate’s decision as a vindication of the council’s Core Strategy.

Ribble Valley Borough Council rejected a scheme by Oakmere Homes to build the houses at the junction of Chatburn Road and Pimlico Link Road.

The developer was given the go-ahead following an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, but the decision was challenged by Ribble Valley Borough Council and quashed by the High Court last November.

In Ribble Valley Borough Council v the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Oakmere Homes, His Honour Judge Bird ruled that the council’s application of local planning policy had been correct.

In his ruling, His Honour Judge Bird quashed the decision by planning inspector Graham Robbie to allow the development, saying: “The inspector’s decision is firmly rooted in a misunderstanding of the policy and so must be quashed.”

His Honour Judge Bird sent the matter back to the Inspectorate for redetermination.

And the Inspectorate has now dismissed the appeal, concluding that the development “would not be in a suitable location for housing.”

The case is a clear vindication of Ribble Valley Borough Council’s Core Strategy, which aims to protect open countryside from development.

Nicola Hopkins, the council’s director of economic development and planning, said: “Our Core Strategy sets out what can be built in the borough and where, shaping infrastructure investments and determining future development.

“It seeks to direct housing to sustainable locations and protect the borough’s open countryside, which is a top priority.

“The original High Court ruling and this recent appeal decision confirms the correct application of our Core Strategy and that development in the countryside will only be allowed when justified by local need.”

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson added: “Our officers work hard to ensure the right type of development takes place in the right locations across the borough and we welcome this decision, which supports and protects our Core Strategy.”

Judge Bird’s ruling and the appeal decision can be read in full at