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BeWILDerwood proposals given set back at Knutsford Town Council planning meeting
PLANS for an adventure park in Tatton Park have been handed a setback after Knutsford’s town council rejected the proposal.
Leisure company Bure Valley Adventures Ltd, working with Cheshire East Council, wants to build BeWILDerwood, a new outdoor adventure park in the grounds of Tatton Park.
At a planning meeting of Knutsford Town Council on Monday, in front of an audience of 60 residents, councillors voted three to one in favour of rejecting the plans.
The council objected to the application on grounds of the loss of amenity to the woodland, the detrimental impact on the peaceful enjoyment of the land, the loss of agricultural land and the impact of the additional traffic associated with the activity.
However, the final decision will not be with Knutsford Town Council. Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning board will have the final say later this summer.
During the meeting, Simon Egan, spoke on behalf of BeWILDerwood, while Knutsford resident Val Dawson and farmer Richard Reeves spoke out against the plan.
Clr Vivien Davies had to point out that no other members of the audience were allowed to speak as it was a planning meeting of the council and not a public meeting.
Mr Egan said the plans could not be further from the Disney theme park concept and assured worried neighbours that the park would get children away from their TVs and game consoles and into the fresh air.
Mr Reeves, who would lose part of his land if the plans were approved, said the whole concept of BeWILDerwood in Tatton Park was wrong and suggested that alternatives locations should be found, while Mrs Dawson said it was an ‘extremely environmentally sensitive area’ and Witchcote Wood – where it is planned – is ancient woodland.
Clr Julian Goodrich spoke in favour of the park adding he believed the creation of jobs – expected to be around 120 and a mix of part time and full time – would be good for Knutsford.
But Clr Peter Coan and Clr Mike Houghton both rejected the plans, with Clr Houghton stating he felt there was a conflict of interest because Cheshire East would benefit financially from the park being given the green light.