‘Withdraw watersport plan or we’ll turn it down’

16:59 07 December 2012

PROPOSALS for a camping and watersport centre in Hemingford Grey will be turned down if they are not withdrawn by Friday, planners say.

The owners of Lakeside Lodge at Pidley bought the 17-hectare informal water ski lake off Long Lane, Hemingford Grey, and applied for a change of use of the land to form a camping and caravan area with a new boathouse and two holiday chalets, as well as an electrically-driven ‘zip-wire’.

St Ives-based planning consultants Partners in Planning (PiP) said the caravanning and camping area would provide pitches for around 30 caravans and 15 tents with the new boat house providing facilities such as showers.

But in the light of extensive local objections Huntingdonshire District Council has told PiP that the plans are unacceptable.

Development management team leader Louise Newcombe says a plan to raise the ground level by around one metre to overcome flood risk would have an unacceptable impact on neighbouring Mulberry Cottage, the application fails to pass flood risk tests, and the transport and ecological impact assessments are inadequate.

Neighbours also complained of noise, pollution, safety and anti-social behaviour of site-users.

And Cambridgeshire County Council warned that Long Lane was a public footpath, meaning the applicants and users of the development could have risked prosecution for driving on it, storing materials on it, parking on it or damaging its surface.

In a ‘without prejudice’ letter to PiP Ms Newcombe has urged the consultants to advise their client, David Hopkins, to withdraw the application.

“Alternatively, the application will be refused under delegated powers,” she added.

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