Residents object to third snail farm planning application for Ribble Valley site

A green field site in Ribchester is again at the centre of controversy following another planning application to build a snail farm and six holiday lodges on the site.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 12:30 pm

Concerned residents have again raised objections to proposals for a snail farm and new holiday accommodation in a Ribble Valley village.

It is the third time a planning application has been submitted for the green field site off Preston Road, Ribchester.

The first application by L’Escargotiere (Ribble Valley) of Inglewhite Road, Longridge, was withdrawn, the second change of use application for the farm and six log cabins was refused in April and now a revised application has been submitted.

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Protestor Mark Handscomb pictured by the field where a snail farm and holiday chalets could be sited.

The location of the snail farm and lodges has been moved to a different part of the green field site.

But residents say cocnerns over road safety, flooding, threats to the natural habitat, noise and potential pollution remain.

Local residents Dr Sheila Cromie and Mark Handscomb have submitted a 13 page objection letter and noted: "We have major concerns about this application, as it appears to pose significant health and safety, traffic, flooding, environmental and nuisance impact."

Thery arguedthat while fuller details had been provided for just one of the lodges the lodge had sleeping accommodation for six and noted: "When fully occupied, adjacent properties could thus be overlooked by 36 people, in addition to workers at the snail farm. This is a significant invasion of privacy, as well as a potentially dangerous increase in the traffic congestion at the point where a 20 mph speed limit has been introduced to try to reduce the speeding traffic."

Part of the green field where the developer hopes to build a snail farm and holiday chalets

Their letter also noted: ,"The form asks “Does this proposal involve the carrying out of industrial or commercial activities and processes” to which the applicant has selected ‘no’. We might have misunderstood the question, but what is the purpose of the snail farm / holiday lets if not as a commercial enterprise?"

Their objection is one of nine submitted to Ribble Valley Borough Council by local residents.

In June Lancashire County Council's highways development control engineer advised: that a scheme for the improvement of the site access be submitted prior to any decision on the application "to ensure that the works are deliverable within land controlled by the applicant or the adopted highway."

In July it was noted that: "The proposed site access widening and visibility splays are acceptable."

The design and access statement submitted by the applicants says: "The main building has been designed as single storey low key with a rural appearance using materials appropriate to the rural environment."

It also noted that the proposed development wouild "run educational courses for the local community as well as other visitors such as schools, special needs and other communities and will be a small scale tourism development."

There would be low level ground breeding pens adjacent to the main building which would comprise offices, a hibernation unit, testing and packing facilities as well as room for demonstrations and tutorials. The log cabin holiday units would "add to and support the countryside attraction".

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