Walsingham Planning secured planning permission for a Watersports and Outdoor Activity Centre at a former Quarry in Chelford, Cheshire in March 2020.
Following a number of years of quarrying for sand and gravel, the site presented an unused manmade feature within the Cheshire Green Belt. The project’s vision was to maintain the site’s open and attractive character and attraction to wildlife, whilst also delivery a viable end use, aligned with the Government’s and Local Council’s aspirations to see more people getting involved with outdoor sport and recreation.
Along with the site’s Green Belt location, the site presented a number of challenges. It is located in an area of safeguarding for the prevention of bird strikes relating to the nearby Manchester Airport. It has also become a nesting and feeding location for a number of priority bird species, since the cessation of quarrying activity.
To overcome these challenges, Walsingham Planning worked as Lead Consultant to devise a scheme that could be considered to sit harmoniously within the site’s Green Belt setting. We were also required to deliver an ecological environment that was attractive to priority bird species but also discouraging to larger birds, which could increase the risk of bird strikes to planes leaving or arriving at Manchester Airport.
Working with a large professional team, we were able to secure a favourable Officer recommendation to Planning Committee, with Members agreeing that the site’s various merits overcame any potential harms and that the proposed use and structures represented an appropriate and acceptable form of development in the Green Belt.