Deadline approaches on your chance to comment on plans to run a pipe through Cuerden Valley Park

A public consultation has been launched over plans to run a pipeline through a popular park.

By Catherine Musgrove
Friday, 14th May 2021, 12:30 pm

Trustees of Cuerden Valley Park launched the informal 10-day consultation on it's website on May 6, with the final day to register views Sunday, May 16. It comes as they prepare to submit a formal planning application to Chorley Council.

The pipe, which would enter the park from Shady Lane, cross grazing land, skirting Ice House Woods and connect to the existing United Utilities sewer which runs through the valley, would be a surface and foul water drain to serve a planned residential development on land off Nell Lane.

Park trustees would stand to secure a "direct financial contribution" from house builders for the pipe, but opponents say it would be "facilitating an environmental disaster on the park's doorstep" .

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The area where the pipe would go

An earlier scheme was withdrawn last year after Chorley Council planning officers recommended that permission for the pipe was refused, because installation would 'result in the loss of trees that make a valuable contribution to the character of the landscape and the benefits of the proposal would not outweigh the harm caused by this loss'.

>>>Click here to read about the previous application that was withdrawn.

On the latest development, Simon Thorpe, general manager of Cuerden Valley Park said: The Trust has taken on board the comments made during the last planning application, and is keen to dispel any mis-information about the proposals or the negative impact it may have on the Park or the environment.

"We welcome any feedback at this stage while there is time to make any amendments before we submit our application. This is an opportunity to secure a direct financial contribution to the Park from developers behind planned housing growth in the area, to compensate the inevitable increased use of our fabulous greenspace and the wear and tear that this causes."

Councillor Mark Clifford, the Borough and County Councillor for the area, said he is "very distrurbed" by the proposal.

He said: "Cuerden Valley Park is there to protect our local environment and nature and in my opinion they (the trustees) are attempting to help developers destroy the beauty of Nell Lane once more, a quintessential English Country Lane.

"The pipeline plan is only needed to serve a development that was refused and has now gone to appeal. Without one there would not be another."

He added: "The planned pipeline itself will take surface water directly from the planned housing development and put it straight into the River Lostock adding to more flooding and damage to the riparian habitat downstream. Also the new sewage connection risks putting too much pressure on the existing sewage pipes resulting in an environmental disaster from a breach of the old infrastructure.

"I have submitted my response to the consultation and I hope the Trustees will take another look at their flawed plans and withdraw them once more."

Sarah Elsy, Cuerden Parish Councillor, said: "It is disappointing to see the park continuing their interest in a project that will eventually allow a housing developer, such as Monaco or Redrow, to build across the road from the park, on Nell Lane and Shady Lane.

"Further housing will destroy natural habitats and Greenbelt in this area. In turn, this will have a long term negative impact on Clayton le Woods and Cuerden.

"Cuerden Valley Park is a flagship for all that is wonderful about our woodlands and the outdoor environment in Chorley but the pipeline would essentially be facilitating an environmental disaster on the park's doorstep.

"It is understandable that the park must do as much as they can to source funding to maintain such a fabulous local landmark but if this pipeline went ahead it would be a short term financial fix and a long term environmental disaster for the area of Cuerden and Clayton le Woods."

Comments and questions on the pipe proposal should be emailed to [email protected] by Sunday, May 16.