PLANS to transform acres of Green Belt into a campsite with tepees and yurts have divided villagers across Helsby and Alvanley.

Since plans to erect the ‘Eco campsite’ on Claim Farm, Manley Road, Alvanley, were announced in July, concerned villagers have been objecting to the application which they say would ‘ruin the peaceful countryside landscape’.

But the proposal, which could see 10 yurts and five tepees erected on the land alongside an amenities building and parking for 24 cars, has received support from some residents who believe it would bring a tourism boost to the local economy.

At a Cheshire West and Chester Council meeting on Tuesday afternoon councillors deferred the planning decision after new details were revealed just hours before the decision was due to be made to reduce the size of the site.

Alvanley Parish Council clerk Derek Bowker said the proposal had divided the village with some residents welcoming the new jobs and educational value it would create, while others have slated the application as ‘eco-hostle’ and ‘dangerous’ creating excess traffic on an already fatal accident black-spot.

“There are concerns about traffic as some years ago there was a fatal accident. There are obviously fears that there will be noise and crime.

“It really has divided the community, some people are delighted that this could provide a much-needed boost to the local area.”

Villagers are also worried that if approved the site will remain derelict for months, as the yurts and tepees are dismantled outside the holiday period, leaving the land open for Travellers to pitch-up illegally on the Green Belt land.

A spokesperson for developer Denton Clark said they were still confident the development would be approved after working closely with planning officers to meet conditions and address issues raised.

“We believe this is an excellent opportunity for the county as there is nothing like this campsite in the area,” the spokesperson said.

“Camping like this has become very fashionable and people enjoy spending time in the countryside. It will create some jobs but the biggest advantage will be to the local economy.”

The application (11/03168/ful) will be on for residents to comment on before it returns to planners next month.