Coole Acres Fishery and Leisure Park - August 2022 (1) (1)

Plans to expand a fishery and leisure park near Nantwich to create a new lake and 19 holiday lodges have been recommended for approval despite parish council objections, writes Belinda Ryan.

Coole Acres Fishery and Leisure Park at Newhall has applied to Cheshire East Council for permission to remodel hatchery ponds to create a new lake and to use land for 19 holiday lodges and two mobile camping pods.

The application has been “called in” by Audlem councillor Rachel Bailey (Con) and will be considered by the southern planning committee on Wednesday February 8.

Cllr Bailey has raised concerns over flood risk, fears of risk of urbanisation and says highways issues need to be dealt, with including the need of a full repair to Finnaker Bridge.

The site is part of an existing fishery and angling centre and currently consists of fishing lakes, hatchery pools, café/reception building, hatchery storage/maintenance building, existing holiday lodge, licensed caravan and camping site with access tracks and parking.

It lies in open countryside where strict criteria has to be met for development.

In a report to Wednesday’s meeting, Cheshire East’s planning officer states: “The proposal is considered to be acceptable in principle, being essential for the purposes of leisure and recreation and other uses appropriate to a rural area.”

The council’s visitor economy manager states: “Cheshire East needs to increase its numbers and profile in the ‘outdoor’ accommodation arena with an increase in quality glamping, caravan and camping sites.

“Consumers are looking for outdoor rural breaks rather than city centre breaks.

“Cheshire is perfectly positioned to take advantage in this staycation boom.

“And these visitors will assist the economy of the rural area and potentially link it with the many and varied walking and cycling trails in Cheshire East.”

Three letters have been sent to the council supporting the scheme.

But Sound & District and Newhall parish councils have both objected as have 15 residents.

Sound Parish Council argues the proposal does not make best use of existing infrastructure, buildings are not the minimum necessary and there would be harm to landscape.

The council also says the scheme would harm the setting and significance of the nearby Grade II listed building, Pinnacle Farm, and claims inadequate documentation has been provided dealing with the issues of flood risk and the protection of biodiversity at the site.

Among concerns raised by Newhall Parish Council are claims the visibility of the proposal would be in conflict with the surrounding environment and the rural character of the area.

The application, which has been recommended for approval, will be considered by the southern planning committee, which meets at 10am at Crewe Municipal Buildings on Wednesday, February 8.

(Pic by Jonathan White)

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