Mill lodge to become wetland area
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