Whitechapel chalets’ future to be decided by council

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City councillors will decide on Thursday, March 9 whether or not five holiday chalets can be built beside a former fishing lake within an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’.

The plan for the chalets on land off Bleasdale Road on the outskirts of Whitechapel will go before Preston’s planning committee after being ‘called in’ by Coun Lona Smith “due to the impact the proposed development would have on the Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in terms of visual amenity, noise, highway and pedestrian safety and the impact upon wildlife.”

But planning officers are recommending the chalets be approved, subject to conditions.

Councillors will hear Goosnargh Parish Council has objected on a number of grounds including the impact of traffic on narrow roads and the site access being on a blind bend.

Six letters of objection included comments such as it being an inappropriate development within the AONB.

There were also fears the chalets could be used as permanent homes.

It is proposed to build the chalets on the lake’s northern bank, to be accessed from Crumbleholm Fold via an access track which would be widened and resurfaced.

Councillors will hear seven holiday units were approved for land nearby in October 2015.

Recommending the plan be approved, officers state: “The proposal would not have any unacceptable detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the AONB and would help to support the rural economy and improve access to the countryside. The impacts on residential amenity, highways and ecology are also considered acceptable.

“Mitigation measures have been provided to limit the impact of the proposal on the locality.

“The proposal complies with the relevant provisions of the development plan and there are no other material considerations which outweigh this finding.”