Cheshire East to debate £1.6m watersports centre

Plans for a watersports and outdoor activity centre at a 55-acre former quarry in Chelford are to be discussed at Cheshire East Council’s planning committee next week, with the scheme recommended for refusal despite backing from the council’s rural investment team.

Cheshire Lakes Community Interest Company submitted the application earlier this year for the redevelopment of the former Hanson Quarry, using two existing lakes created as part of the quarry’s restoration plan following its closure.

In the plans, the North Lake would house a wire pulley system to enable wakeboarding, as well as an aerial activity course. The South Lake would be used for open water swimming, paddle boarding and canoeing.

Cheshire East Council is due to meet on Wednesday 27 July to discuss the proposals. Ahead of the meeting, a planning officer’s report has recommended the scheme be refused for biodiversity reasons, after objections were received from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

While the report acknowledged “a number of positives to the scheme”, it concluded that the development would have a “significant adverse impact on the conservation value of the lakes”.

However, the team behind the proposals remained positive that the project could be progressed, after working extensively with the council’s rural investment team prior to the application submission.

Jonathan Vose, director of Walsingham Planning, advising, said: “We are pleased that the case officer’s report to planning committee acknowledges that the proposed use is acceptable in the Green Belt, will deliver a unique sport and recreation facility to the area, will have significant job creation benefits, has no adverse highway or landscape impacts and is thus socially and economically sustainable and beneficial.

“Weighing against this, in the officer’s view, is the perception that the proposals will have an unacceptable ecology impact. This view is countered on the basis of the site only having ceased being quarried in 2014, the lakes and surrounding areas not having been fully restored or established yet and the site falling within an area where the accumulation of large birds is to be discouraged, given the site’s location within the Manchester Airport bird strike safeguarding zone.

“It is our view that the planning balance weighs very significantly in favour of the application being approved, and we look forward to presenting this case to members on Wednesday.”

Walsingham Planning submitted the application and acted as lead consultant, working alongside AECOM, Campbell Reith, FOB Design UK and Urban Green.

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Cheshire East wouldn’t know a decent application if it slapped them in the face with a soggy flipper. Lets hope Members see sense and support all that appears very good about this application.

By Flash Harry

Loving the retro CG images. Takes me right back to mid-1990s Catchphrase

Say what you see

By zebith

It simply beggars belief that such a vibrant proposal which makes such good use of a redundant site, will create jobs, encourage tourism and therefore bring additional prosperity to the Local Economy whilst creating a much needed ‘recreational’ facility in the area should be considered for Refusal. The ONLY answer to this proposal – surely – is a unanimous vote for APPROVAL.

By David Sleath

Surely a no-brainer?

By Cheshire Boy

This is a great idea and one that should be green lighted all the way not refused.

By Dave Mont

‘Watersports’ juvenile but always makes me giggle!

By R Bolton

Hope they approve it – but fear that as its Cheshire East they will be able to make a hash of it…

By Developer

How on earth can this Council propose the approval of the Kings School applications – an abomination to the Green Belt without any special circumstances, but propose the refusal of this fantastic application that benefits so many. Vermin geese over the benefits of this stunning scheme? Shame on the Council and it myopic advisors! Members PLEASE see some sense here. A refusal will make this Council look even more ridiculous.

By Cheshire Least

Geese have rights too! Have you not seen the film fly away home?

By R Bolton

Yet again, another ridiculous recommendation from CE planners. When are they going to wake up and smell a great opportunity when its right in front of them? reusing a disused quarry, providing jobs and a creating great tourism destination will be some of the many benefits. Behind you all the way Cheshire Lakes.

By Swampy Dave

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

A load of non native invasive geese.

A load of non native invasive geese who?

A load of non native invasive geese who cause a risk to planes, are a pest and have the potential to stop the best thing to happen to Chelford in a lifetime from coming forward and giving our kids something positive to do with their time.

By Bemused of Chelford

Application refused…..!

By Popcorn