Calls are being made to protect the Forest of Bowland from unnecessary development.
The Campaign to Protect National England (CPRE) is fighting to safeguard the Ribble Valley’s two designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty amid fears changes to planning laws could threaten the future of sites like the Bowland Fells and the Trough of Bowland.
The Queen is so fond of the Ribble Valley views that she stated in her 1966 biography that she would like to retiret here one day.
CPRE Lancashire Branch chairman Rob Dorpman said: “If the glorious Forest of Bowland cannot resist government pressures to ‘build, build, build’, where can?
The government should be prioritising the regeneration of towns and cities to get the economy moving, not making it far easier than it used to be to build on irreplaceable and special landscapes”.
CPRE fears the landscape will be spoiled by developers wanting to build over 2,600 houses alongside a number of wind turbines.Campaigners claim villages and hamlets will be unable to cope with the extra demands of all these new properties and that the road network would crumble under the extra pressure.
Ribble Valley Council is planning 4,000 houses by 2028 but pending the endorsement of the new land-use plan, it would not meet the planning criteria of the five-year housing supply.
If the new plans are passed, the council could lose all its powers to a government department in London.
Jackie Copley, CPRE Lancashire Branch planning officer, said: “The cumulative impacts on the landscape, environment, transport and other issues such as drainage and flood risk need to be fully understood. Quick decisions will not necessarily bring the best long term solutions”.
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