Third time lucky for Cheshire waterpark

Developer Adventure Lakes has secured consent to create a waterpark and leisure facility at the former Mere Quarry in Chelford, after the scheme was refused twice.

Cheshire East’s planning committee this week approved the scheme, which has been reduced in scale since its previous applications.

Jonathan Vose, director of Walsingham Planning, which advised Adventure Lakes on the proposal, said: “This scheme now represents a site area 36% smaller than was the case in the appeal scheme, and with on-site buildings reduced in scale by 86%.

“As a team, we’re happy to have got to this point. Despite all of the challenges we have faced, it has always been at the forefront of our minds that this is an exciting and innovative scheme that completes the site’s restoration by bringing it back into a positive and beneficial use.

“We were very pleased that the council officers sought to support and defend their recommendation for approval. We felt the questions and debate from members were fair and insightful, to ensure a considered and balanced decision could be reached on what is a fairly unusual proposal and set of planning considerations.”

In the council’s planning report published ahead of the meeting, it said: “The nature of the use means a countryside location, where restrictive policies apply. The built form proposed would be the minimum necessary to enable the use to take place. The harm to the openness of the Green Belt would also be limited by the minimal spread of development and low height of the structures.”

The 55-acre site sits off Stubby Lane, Chelford Road, and Alderley Road, and is part of a former sand quarry within the Green Belt. It is made up of two lakes, North and South Lake, which are naturally filled with water.

The site was mined for sand and gravel by Hanson until 2014 when regeneration and remediation work began.

The proposals include open water swimming facilities, kayaking, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, and a seasonal floating activity course.

Adventure Lakes operates other centres in the UK, including schemes in Edinburgh, Dundee and Delamere Forest, all of which are similarly scaled. It also supplies and builds wakeboard and watersports centres across Europe.

The professional team includes Fob Design, Avian Ecology, Mode Transport, Urban Green and Campbell Reith.

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