Fury at proposal for snail farm and six holiday lodges in Ribble Valley field

Local residents are protesting after plans were re-submitted for a controversial development in Ribchester.

Thursday, 26th November 2020, 9:30 am

Plans to build a snail farm and six holiday lodges on a green field site in Ribble Valley have been resubmitted.

The application has been made by agent David Liversidge on behalf of L'Escargotiere (Ribble Valley) Ltd whose director is Terence Ball.

The proposed site is off Preston Road in Ribchester and an earlier application to Ribble Valley Council was withdrawn.

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Mark Handscomb pictured by the proposed development site Photo: Neil Cross

Objections to the plans, which include an application for change of use, are again being made by local residents.

Mark Handscomb and Sheila Cromie live nearby on Preston Road. Mark said he feared the proposed development would present a flooding risk and exacerbate local traffic problems.

He said: "My main concern is that this poses an existential threat to the future of Ribchester. That's because it will significantly increase the already high risk of flooding which we've seen repeatedly in the village.

"The second concern is the increase in traffic on an already busy stretch of road. between Ribchester and Longridge will make it more dangerous."

The green field site off Preston Road, Ribchester Photo: Neil Cross

He said he feared a serious or fatal accident on "an already congested narrow road".

Mark added that the mixture of snail farm and holiday lodges meant there would be a mixture of industrial traffic servicing the snail farm, as well as holiday let traffic.

He said: "This part of Preston Road is where traffic leaving Ribhester accelerates up the hill. Visibility is poor when pulling out of residential driveways due to parked vehicles and the fact that the 20mph speed limit is widely ignored - which is why Lancashire Constabulary position a mobile speed camera at this location."

The proposed development would be on a field which is alongside Boyce's brook. There would be six three bedroomed log cabins. The snail farm would include office, stores, packing and despatch areas as well as a lecture/demonstration room.

Mark added: "The brook is a spawning ground for trout. It's quite a valuable environmental asset."

Mark said he is lobbying both the parish and borough council and is urging anyone with concerns to make their views heard by contacting Ribble Valley Council's planning department.

He also claimed the plans contradict part of the Ribble Valley's Core Strategy.

The site has a medium to high risk of fluvial flooding and is designated within Flood Zones 2 and 3 as advised by the Environment Agency.

A flood report submitted with the application advises the risk of flooding can be managed and lists necessary mitigation steps, including building the lodges on stilts. It says this would "allow flood water to pass through unimpeded".

The report also advised any buildings on the site should incorporate flood voids to prevent the loss of floodplain storage, "which could potentially increase the flood risk downstream of the application site".

​​The Post and Courier News contacted Mr Liversidge and sought comment from Mr Ball. But no comment was available at the time of publication.

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