Preston chalet plan given the green light despite plea from neighbours

Lona Smith
Lona Smith
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Holiday chalets are to be built on land in rural Preston, after plans were given the green light.

An application for 14 chalets off Bleasdale Road in Whitechapel was thrown out earlier this year, when councillors deemed it would have an unacceptable impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty.

But revised plans, for seven log cabins, were recommended for approval by officers and were given the go-ahead at yesterday’s Preston Council planning meeting.

Officers told the meeting the proposal would not have an “adverse impact on the character and appearance of the area of outstanding natural beauty”, and that the new application addressed the previous reasons for refusal.

But a petition of 196 names was submitted against the plans, and neighbours described the project as “totally out of character with the rest of the area”.

Coun Lona Smith, who represents Preston Rural North, said: “Once it’s gone it’s gone and there’s no turning back.

“So on behalf of the thousands of people who annually enjoy this tranquil haven, I urge you not to throw away the family silver.”

Chairman of the committee, Coun Brian Rollo, said: “The concern about the nibbling away at the area of outstanding natural beauty is a worry, and I would take that into much more weight if it wasn’t for the fact we have the comment from the AONB officer that supports sustainable tourism and basically supports this activity. That leaves us with very little grounds to turn this down.” The plans were approved 10 votes to one.