Opposition grows to Burnley wakeboarding plan

BEAUTY SPOT: Rowley Lake in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons
BEAUTY SPOT: Rowley Lake in Burnley.'Photo Ben Parsons

Public opposition is growing ahead of a plan to create a wakeboarding facility at a Burnley beauty spot.

Picturesque Rowley Lake near Worsthorne could be the site of a huge outdoor sports centre if Burnley Borough Council goes ahead with its plan.

But residents in the area and now the Ribble Fisheries Consultative Association (RFCA) have voiced their concerns over the visual damage to the setting and the feasibility of the scheme.

The focal point of the centre is set to be a cable-operated wakeboarding system — created to take users across the lake without the need to be towed by speedboat.

The plan is to then further develop the lakeside centre, adding canoeing and orienteering to the activities based there as well as setting up a multi-discipline cycling centre.

Council bosses hope the facility would attract visitors from a wide area and would put Burnley on the map for its offering of outdoor sports.

But Worsthorne resident Mr Ian Mann is just one of several who have objected.

He said: “The five proposed buildings are actually converted shipping containers painted grey – what an ugly blot on the landscape these will be and hardly a premier facility hoping to attract mass tourism.”

His views were echoed by Mr David Hinks, chairman of the RFCA, who urged the council to look again at the proposals.

He said: “If the council believes that it is right to put up ugly buildings and chop down trees in readiness at a wildlife site then go ahead. If the council believes it is right to disturb the tranquility of Rowley Lake for ever then go ahead. Likewise if it believes in disturbing birds on a more or less permanent basis and making it impossible to fish then go ahead.”

The council is applying for further outside funding before proceeding with the plans.