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Cheshire holiday lodge and sailing club scheme gets green light

But same meeting rejects holiday park with 67 log cabins at nearby Delamere Forest

Planning approval has been granted for 143 lodges and a sailing facility to the south of Chester Road at Oakmere in Cheshire. Picture: Google

A leisure attraction involving almost 150 holiday lodges and a sailing clubhouse at a former quarry near Oakmere has been approved by councillors.

Applicant William Fergusson was delighted to receive permission for 143 lodges and the sailing facility at the former Fourways Quarry site, to the south of Chester Road.

The scheme was approved at the Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee against the advice of planning officers.

At the same meeting, councillors later refused permission for 67 timber cabins at nearby Delamere Forest, again contrary to officer recommendations.

Officers had argued the Oakmere plan revealed a ‘lack of emphasis on the water sports activities’ given the number of holiday lodges proposed. In addition, the development was not considered of an appropriate scale in the countryside and regarded as ‘unsustainable’ development.

Cllr Hugo Deynem

Mr Fergusson, who spoke in support of the application, was supported by visiting ward members for Tarvin and Kelsall Cllrs John Leather and Hugo Deynem.

Minutes of the meeting state: “Members discussed the application in detail, expressing support for the creation of new water sports facilities and the recreational, leisure and social activities that the development would offer.”

They considered it ‘an excellent use’ of the former sand quarry that had been allocated as a location for tourist-recreational use in the Vale Royal Borough Local Plan.

It was an appropriate site that was well-screened and had good access to the main road, train station and bus route.

Members of the public gathered at the Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee in the HQ building in Chester.

“It was also an appropriate use of the land, which was too poor for agricultural purposes.

“The scheme would retain this very attractive countryside asset with beautiful views of the countryside and would open up an area of previously worked land allowing it to be used and enjoyed by the community, helping to create new jobs and boost the local economy,” said the report.

Committee member Cllr Brian Jones (Lab, Whitby) told the meeting: “I’m sold on it. There’s a similar development in Caernarfon, North Wales and it’s absolutely marvellous and I’ve got no hesitation but to move acceptance.”

Ellesmere Port mayor Cllr Peter Rooney

Colleague Cllr Peter Rooney (Lab, Ledsham and Manor), who seconded the proposal to approve, said: “I think it’s a fabulous idea, a great use of what was a big hole in the floor.”

A proposal to approve the application was carried by seven votes to four.

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