Mill lodge to be­come wet­land area

Rossendale Free Press - - News -

AN his­toric mill lodge pop­u­lar with walk­ers will NOT be re­stored, af­ter de­vel­op­ers were granted per­mis­sion to re­place the pond with wet­lands.

Wa­ter has al­ready been drained from the pond, known as Higher Boars­g­reave Lodge, so that flood mit­i­ga­tion works for the new de­vel­op­ment at the former Kearns Mill, in Cowpe, could be com­pleted.

In the orig­i­nal plans, which were ap­proved in 2015, the de­vel­oper, Skip­ton Prop­er­ties, was to re­store the pond af­ter con­struc­tion was com­pleted.

This came af­ter res­i­dents ex­pressed con­cern about the risk of flood­ing in Cowpe - claim­ing the lodge used to di­vert flood wa­ters away from the vil­lage.

Now, de­vel­op­ers will re­place it with a wa­ter course that will run from north to south and will fea­ture a se­ries of ‘per­ma­nent ponds’.

A new plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion from Skip­ton was re­cently ap­proved by Rossendale coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment con­trol com­mit­tee.

In their re­port to the com­mit­tee, plan­ning of­fi­cers said the loss of the pond would be ob­vi­ous vis­ually.

They said: “The scheme now pro­posed for this area will not it­self be unattrac­tive or out of keep­ing with its sur­round­ings, but will not pro­vide such a prom­i­nent fea­ture in the wider land­scape.

“The En­vi­ron­ment Agency and the coun­cil’s own ecol­ogy con­sul­tant have as­sessed the sub­mit­ted draw­ings, and the Bio­di­ver­sity En­hance­ment Plan which ac­com­pa­nies them, and have con­cluded that the cur­rent pro­posal has the po­ten­tial to pro­vide a greater range of wildlife habi­tats.”

The Free Press re­ported in March last year that res­i­dents and dog walk­ers were ‘fu­ri­ous’ af­ter it was an­nounced they did not in­tend to re­tain the pond - say­ing the area had been ru­ined and that they had lost a sanc­tu­ary they loved to walk around.

Chris Smith, speak­ing on be­half of those op­posed to the de­vel­op­ment, told the meet­ing: “I did have quite bad reser­va­tions about the ca­pac­ity of the new sys­tem to hold back the down­pours from the moors. The lodge used to hold back and reg­u­late the down­pour so that it went down the river in a nice even man­ner.”

Mr Steele, act­ing as agent for Skip­ton Prop­er­ties, said the fact United Util­i­ties had no ob­jec­tion to the plans meant that the new cul­vert would suf­fi­ciently di­rect wa­ter away from new houses and ex­ist­ing ones down­stream.

He also said that the re­ten­tion of the ex­ist­ing cul­vert would mean that the de­vel­op­ment’s lay­out would change, and only 20 of the orig­i­nal­ly­planned 22 houses would now be built.

He added: “I’m fully aware of the con­cerns ex­pressed about the loss of the pond.

“The ar­range­ment now pro­posed will mitigate any risk to the de­vel­op­ment and the prop­er­ties down­stream.”

Coun­cil­lors voted unan­i­mously in favour of the plans at the meet­ing on Mon­day, March 26.

●● The drained pond at the Kearns Mill hous­ing de­vel­op­ment

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