Businessman, Ian Robinson, has made the tough decision to pull out of his £1 million investment in Hyndburn, England following the rejection of his application to build a ‘glamping‘ complex near Great Harwood.
According to an article by LancsLive, this marks the third time his proposal has been rejected by local councilors, dealing a significant blow to the economic aspirations of the area.
Robinson’s initial plans included the construction of ten log cabins on an acre of land near the scenic Dean Clough Reservoir beauty spot, off Blackburn Old Road.
However, the project faced opposition due to its location in the protected green belt countryside. Two previous planning applications were turned down for the same reason.
His latest proposal was a scaled-down version, featuring seven ‘wigwam’ style lodges and a reception building.
Despite generating only six public objections, this proposal was also rejected by the Hyndburn Borough Council planning committee, citing concerns about its impact on the green belt.
Robinson’s outline application suggested that a review of Hyndburn’s development plan should consider removing the site from the protected green belt, as the impact of the glamping pods on the area had been the primary reason for previous refusals.
During the council meeting, three Conservative councillors attempted to challenge the recommendation to reject the proposal by planning boss Simon Prideaux.
They argued that the project could bring economic benefits to the borough and enhance the local area’s appeal.
Cllr Kath Pratt from Baxenden stated, “I think it would be quite an asset,” emphasizing the potential economic advantages of the proposal. Her colleague, Cllr Susan Hayes of St. Oswalds ward, expressed a similar sentiment, believing that the project could significantly improve the current state of the area.
Their efforts, along with the support of Huncoat Tory Cllr Danny Cassidy, resulted in a vote to overturn the recommendation to refuse planning permission. The decision was confirmed by eight votes to three.
However, Church ward Conservative Cllr Loraine Cox expressed reservations, stating that she did not believe the application demonstrated the ‘very special circumstances’ necessary to allow such a development in the Green Belt. She suggested that with further work and modifications, approval might be possible in the future.
Despite the council’s decision, Ian Robinson has decided to withdraw his £1 million investment from the project. He expressed disappointment, saying, “This is a £1m investment. I will just go and spend it elsewhere now. They are missing out. I have got people who want to buy it now; I don’t know what they propose to do with it. It could be caravans.”
The rejection of the ‘glamping’ project leaves the Hyndburn community at a crossroads, with discussions ongoing about how to balance economic growth with environmental preservation in the region.
Featured image created with AI technology.