Leisure lake project refused again
A WATER sports centre has lost its bid for planning permission after a council committee heard the application for a third time.
Tim Woodhead wants to build Cheshire Lakes water sports and wakeboarding centre at the old Mere Farm Quarry in Chelford. Councillors on the Strategic Planning Board originally refused the application as a result of objections due to the impact on wildlife.
But Mr Woodhead successfully applied for it to be reheard after it was discovered he missed the meeting due to an admin blunder.
The application was again heard by the committee and this time permission was granted.
A Section 106 agreement was attached to the plan which stated the project should not attract more large birds to the site after an objection by Manchester Airport.
But before the conditions were agreed, an objector threatened to take it to Judicial Review because councillors had not taken proper account of the impact on wildlife.
The application went back to the committee and now Mr Woodhead has lost his permission.
He said: “In an almost unbelievable turn of events, Cheshire East has now rejected our application for Cheshire Lakes.
“We are getting inundated with people asking what happened.
“It’s impossible to believe the council finds it so hard to approve an application they admit has wide and varied benefits. Unfortunately a local resident paid a QC to see if there were any grounds for a Judicial Review and he advised that the case officer missed out a paragraph of text from their report in relation to a regulation about the conservation of habitats and species. This information would not have made any difference to our approval in August. If we had already signed the section 106 the only option for the council would have been to let the case go for a Judicial Review but instead they called it back to the committee. Some of the members on the board had changed and unfortunately these new members didn’t get to hear our supporters speak, did not have a site visit and did not hear our speech in full. It was not a fair hearing.
“We are trying to use a former sand quarry which is still some way from being restored to create a social enterprise leisure and tourism facility which is wanted by the majority of the local population.”
The council has been contacted for a comment.