a PENDLE businessman has spoken of his surprise after a planning application he says would boost the area’s tourism was rejected.
Frank Wren, who runs the Boothman Park fishery in Barley, had applied to change the use of a wooded area to erect eight camping pods, a field kitchen and toilet facilities on the site.
Pendle Council planning officers had recommended the plans for approval but members of the Barrowford and Western Parishes Committee turned them down at a meeting on Thursday night, deeming them to be inappropriate development in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Mr Wren, who received a Highly Commended certificate from this year’s Pendle Business Awards this week, said he intended to appeal to the Department for the Environment against the committee’s decision.
“The pods would be used by the youth of Pendle for overnight stays.
“We are promoting cycling, fishing, orienteering, walking and woodcraft.
“The fishery is fully working and our log cabins will be ready within a month.
“The planning officers checked my application thoroughly and said I ticked every box on what I could and could not do.
“There have been no jobs created in the villages in the last 10 years and there is a danger that at least one of the schools could close because of a lack of children living there.
“I was very surprised at the decision of the committee. Pods have been allowed in the Ribble Valley, the Yorkshire Dales and the Grisedale Forest, but not in Pendle.
“Tourism is going to be a big draw in Pendle in the future and it is a great pity that my application was turned down.”