A DECISION on plans for a dozen holiday lodges at Northop Country Park has been deferred until a planning appeal for a similar nearby development has been determined.
Flintshire Council’s planning committee considered the lodges application which includes a shop and reception area after a request from Northop ward councillor Marion Bateman (Ind), due to the sensitivity of the proposed site being within the historic country park.
It is also close to a proposed development for 24 cabins on another part of the country park, which is awaiting the outcome of a planning appeal – currently with PEDW (Planning Environment Decision Wales).
The application has been recommended for approval by the authority’s planning officers but has been met with objections from residents, and concerns from the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust.
Chief planning officer Andrew Farrow read out a statement on behalf of the applicants stating that the scheme was sympathetically designed, compliant with all planning policies and would add to the tourism offer in Flintshire.
A report to the committee stated that the proposal was for 12 single storey holiday lodges within the grounds of the Northop Country Park and the setting of the Grade II Listed Soughton Hall historic park and gardens.
The site is to the west of the main arterial route through the country park with the proposed lodges earmarked for land to the north of the Northop Golf Course Clubhouse, Driving Range and the Celtic Arms Public House.
But speaking against the scheme on behalf of fellow residents at the planning meeting, John Dennan said stray golf balls posed a danger to people at the site.
There were also objections from Northop ward members, Cllr Bateman and Cllr Linda Thew (Ind).
Cllr Bateman said: “Are we to say the damage has already been done to this historic country park, one more application won’t make much difference, or enough is enough – no more piecemeal, windfall applications destroying the heritage of this historic park and its ecology for us and future generations.”
Cllr Thew added: “This application is a major challenge to the appropriateness of the new LDP (Local Development Plan) before the ink is even dry.”
Councillors were advised to judge the application on its own merits but Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) suggested deferring a decision as he felt members could not make a decision with an appeal for a similar application still outstanding.
He said: “This application shouldn’t be determined until the current appeal lodged with PEDW for a holiday lodge chalet development within the country park has been formally determined, as the applications are considered intrinsically linked.
“I personally feel that until such time as that PEDW application is determined then this application should be deferred.”
Buckley Bistre East Cllr Richard Jones (Ind) seconded this, adding: “They’re within 100 metres of each other on the same site.
“In my view this could be considered premature in terms of the appeal site with PEDW for 24 cabins.
“You agree to one, you could get two, and it would be a continued degradation of that area.”
Mold East Cllr Chris Bithell (Lab) also supported a deferral.
He said: “I think we need to see the outcome of that appeal before we make a decision on other parcels of land on this overall site.”
Members agreed to defer making a decision on the application to a future date.