Row breaks out as £1.2m overhaul begins at Penwortham Residential Park

A row has broken out over a £1.2m investment in a Penwortham Holiday Park.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 3:32 pm
Updated Friday, 31st May 2019, 4:32 pm
Melvyn Gardner near the excavated embankment

Wyldecrest Parks took ownership of Penwortham Residential Park off Stricklands Lane in December 2018, and are setting about making improvements to the gas and electricity supply, drainage, road conditions, the office area and landscaping.

Chairman Alfie Best told the Post he was committed to improving the park for residents and instead of increasing fees, enhancements would be paid for by creating additional housing spaces on land that was a communal green and by excavating an embankment area.

But residents say work has begun without notifying them, question whether it has the correct development permission, say it has affected wildlife habitat, and there are worries over the impact of work to the embankment.

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Work on the embankment

Resident Melvyn Gardner said: “We’ve not had a letter or any communication about this work at all. Diggers have been coming in at 8am and digging out the embankment, and the first thing we knew about the green was when work started.

“We’re also worried about the trees on the embankment. In high winds, are they going to be as stable with all that land taken out?”

Mr Best (pictured) claims planning consent is in place and work on the embankment is safe.

Mr Best claims existing planning consent allows for the additional units and a new application for a certificate of lawful development is to protect home owners who have extended their plots and and regularise the “very fragmented” planning history of the site.

Units are going on the communal green

He said a full survey was carried out on the embankment, and £90,000 was subsequently spent installing a substantial railway sleeper barrier in to prevent landslips.

He said: “We want to improve the quality of the park and thereby increase the value of people’s homes.

“People have complained to us about the electricity and drainage and we’ve acted quickly and diligently. But you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs.”

He also revealed a new leisure area will be installed to compensate for the loss of the green area.

Alfie Best

He said: “We’re going to put in a complete new leisure area away from the homes. Grandchildren will be able to play, but not right next to homes, so it will keep the area peaceful.

South Ribble Borough Council said it was “aware of the situation” in relation to the work carried out and “officers are currently investigating as a matter of urgency.” The council did not state whether it believed any planning regulation had been breached.