Watersports firm in fresh quarry bid
AWATeRSpoRTS firm are making a second bid to convert a former quarry site after a planning debacle.
Cheshire Lakes wants to build the £1.6m centre at the old Mere Farm Quarry in Chelford.
Last year, it took a council planning committee THRee attempts to rule on the scheme after first refusing it, then approving it, then refusing it again.
Now another scheme has been submitted to address the major concerns planners had over its potential impact on biodiversity particularly birds. Cheshire Lakes plans to create a water park for activities such as wakeboarding, paddle sports and open water swimming.
There will also be an aqua adventure park. The site will also boast a cafe, shop, changing facilities and parking for 100 cars.
Cheshire Lakes has promised ‘major ecological enhancements’ including two new islands on the South Lake for breeding birds and sand banks to prevent Sand Martins breeding on site.
Tim Woodhead from Cheshire Lakes said: “The huge amount of local consultation we have done has shown massive support for our project. The general consensus from people we speak to, is that they can’t believe the application has not yet been approved.
We know the majority of the public want this amazing facility to be delivered so they can enjoy an in demand and much needed outdoor reaction and sporting facility in the Cheshire countryside.”
The scheme was first heard by Cheshire east Council’s strategic planning committee last August where it was refused because Manchester Airport complained it would increase the risk of bird strikes on planes.
But a council blunder meant the vote went ahead without the applicant and a second hearing was set. Cheshire Lakes overcame the airport’s worries and was given planning permission.
But 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 in November for a third time and was refused.
For the last 20 years the quarry, which takes up an area of 53.5 acres, has been used to extract sand and is currently being transformed into a natural wildlife reserve.
If it is approved the park is expected to create more than 30 jobs and could open next year.