Gas pipeline forces rethink over glamping and camping on golf course near Preston

An underground gas pipeline has forced developers to scrap plans for tents and glamping pods on a proposed holiday park near Preston.

Concerns raised by health and safety officers have resulted in the multi-million pound project on the old golf course at Goosnargh reducing its visitor capacity by almost 20 per cent.

Rules over development near to a pipeline have led to 30 camping pitches and nine glamping pods being removed from the original scheme.

Now fresh embryo plans have been submitted to Preston Council as owners of the 64-acre site seek a ruling over whether the proposed holiday park needs to provide a report on the impact it would have on the local environment before embarking on the formal planning process.

New proposed lay-out of the holiday park (Image: GHV Limited).

The project, intended to be "a luxury tourism destination," was first revealed in March with developers hoping to provide 97 high quality woodland lodges, 30 lakeside lodges, 33 caravan pitches, together with the camping accommodation.

But following the intervention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) concerning work being carried out so close to a pipeline which runs through the golf course, those plans were withdrawn and fresh designs have been submitted.

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The new-look scheme still shows 127 lodges and 33 caravan pitches. But camping and glamping have both been dropped.

The old golf course is now overgrown.

Instead there are plans for 14 office pods further away from the line of the gas main, which could potentially be used by local rural businesses.

When the holiday village project was first unveiled earlier this year it was estimated it could be worth more than £4m a year to the local economy - £1.9m in sales for businesses nearby and a further £2.3m in wages paid to more than 100 staff recruited from the area.

The site was formerly Goosnargh Golf Club, a nine-hole pay-as-you-play course which opened in 2002 and closed down more than two years ago. It is now overgrown.

The land is being planned as a "luxury tourism destination," now accommodating around 160 families. It will have a range of leisure facilities including an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, a games room, bar, restaurant and spa.

How the golf course used to look.

"It will be an upmarket facility attracting higher-spending tourists to the area,” added Peter Allen, of Preston-based development company GHV Ltd.

“From informal discussions people have told us they value the opportunity the site will generate for full and part-time work for themselves and their teenagers and, of course, the spend in local shops and pubs that our visitors will generate.

"We have some of the finest cheese-makers, butchers and other rural producers in Lancashire, as well as a range of local services, from hair-dressers to pubs. All will benefit from the spending power this development would bring.”

Under HSE rules there are controls on land up to 280-metres either side of a major gas pipeline. That are will now be left largely as woodland walks and ponds.

GHV are arguing that an environmental impact assessment in not required, saying: “It is considered that the proposed development will not result in significant effects on the environment.”