Ribble Valley Council rejects bid to change plans for Boadicea Park snail farm and holiday lodges development at Ribchester
A developer’s bid to amend plans for a controversial snail farm and holiday lodge development near Longridge has been refused.
Ribble Valley Council’s planning committee rejected the application by David Ball of Longridge based L'Escargotiere (Ribble Valley) Ltd to changes of condition to alter plans, previously approved at appeal, for a site off Preston Road, Ribchester.
The council said the new proposals were unacceptable and did not represent “sustainable development”.
The changes related mainly to the repositioning of two holiday lodges on the formerly green field site and changes to the appearance and plans for the proposed main building, in particular the removal of an educational facility and replacement with office accommodation.
Ribchester Parish Council and some local residents objected to the new proposals, which were submitted in March, for the village site, named as Boadicea Park in the new application.
It was felt by protestors that any removal of an educational facility undermined the original approval for a venue providing tourist and educational facilities.
In its decision notice rejecting the application Ribble Valley Council said: “The proposal does not comprise sustainable development and there were no amendments to the scheme, or conditions that could reasonably have been imposed, which could have made the development acceptable.”
It continued: “The cumulative level of the proposed variations, in particular the re-siting of the holiday lodges, introduction of new 'lodge' types, changes in the elevational detailing/materials of the 'heliciculture' building including internal reconfiguration of the building, introduction of additional 'office space' and the omission of the 'lecture/demonstration area' are considered to go beyond that which would be reasonably considered as being a minor material amendment for the purposes of Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning (1990).”
The council also found a proposed variation to materials to be used unacceptable saying it would result in the introduction of materials that would be: “visually incongruous, anomalous and discordant, being of significant detriment to the character and visual amenities of the area.”
The Council also concluded the use of such new materials would be in direct conflict with the aims and objectives of the Ribble Valley Core (planning) Strategy.
One of the protestors Mark Handscomb, who lives near the site, said: “ We’re delighted that this has been rejected. My concern really is that by changing the internal layout of various buildings they were just converting them into offices rather than an educational facilitity ... which was one of the justifications for granting planning permission.”
The application to change and remove planning conditions was made on behalf of L'Escargotiere (Ribble Valley) Ltd by David Liversidge of DVL Properties Ltd,Burnley. The applicants have the right to appeal the decision.
The council approved a separate application to discharge conditions relating to construction management and partially discharged conditions relating to drainage at the site.
The original approval for change of use of land and erection of building for heliciculture (snail breeding) together with six log cabins to be used as holiday lets was granted last September.
The developer said work began on site on February 1 this year.