Objections raised over plans for carp-filled fishing lake in Wyre

Plans for a commercial fishing lake offering anglers the chance to hook as many carp as they can in exchange for day tickets have been fiercely rejected by Wyre Council following a list of objections.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 12:30 pm
The proposed fishing lake on the outskirts of Great Eccleston

The planning application proposes the excavation of the lake on land at Pheasant Wood Fishery on the outskirts of Great Eccleston, promising 'a more tranquil experience' for anglers in the area.

Last week, Wyre Council' s planning committee objected to the plans, though ultimately the decision lies with Lancashire County Council.

David Thow, head of planning services at Wyre Council, said: "The application site is located within the countryside, and the development would involve the provision of development in a poorly accessible location detached from the nearest settlement. The site would be accessed via unlit rural roads that are subject to national speed limits and without pedestrian footpaths.

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Future users of the proposal would be heavily reliant on the use of a private motor vehicle to access the site with very limited opportunity to access the site via alternative sustainable travel modes.

"There is insufficient evidence with the application to demonstrate a business need or benefits from the proposal, either economic or environmental, to justify allowing the development in this remote location and outweigh this impact...The proposed development on balance would not form sustainable development."

He added that the development would be located within a flood risk zone, and that inadequate information was provided about the possible environmental impact of the proposed lake.

The Environment Agency also opposed the plans, citing flood risks. A spokesman said: "The proposal for a new body of water in this location has the potential to affect the flow of flood water within the area and thereby has the potential to increase flood risk in the surrounding area."

Lancashire County Council's highways department, meanwhile, said plans for a new HGV access route should be provided, as existing roads surrounding the site are narrow.

A planning statement submitted to LCC the fishery's behalf said: "Tourism and leisure are extremally significant for Wyre’s economy accounting for approximately 13 per cent of overall employment within the borough. The sectors centre on outdoor pursuits and the enjoyment of the countryside, with fishing seen as a low impact way of promoting this while supporting growth.

"The proposed investment would create a unique experience for anglers within Wyre helping to promote angling tourism while also allowing the host business to grow and establish itself within the market. Fishing is extremely popular throughout the UK. A survey published in October 2018 produced by the Environment Agency calculated that freshwater anglers contribute an estimated £1.4 billion annually to the English economy, supporting up to 27,000 full-time equivalent jobs through their spending on the sport.

"Following completion, the development will ensure that anglers have a more tranquil experience at Pheasant Wood, guaranteeing that their fishing is not disturbed by neighbouring pegs. The larger lake will also provide an opportunity to offer an alternative challenge for customers on a larger more challenging water."