THERE was a round of applause as villagers celebrated news that plans for 195 homes on a former theme park near Chorley were thrown out.

Chorley Council’s Development Control Committee unanimously voted 14-0 against planning officers recommendations to approve plans for the former Camelot Theme Park in Charnock Richard.

More than 200 people packed out the Lancastrian Suite in the town hall as a show of force against the plans for the attraction which closed back in 2012.

The plans would have seen comprising up to 195 dwellings, 1,000sqm of office space, and 2,000sqm workshop/starter units.

Memories of Camelot Theme Park

Alan McMillan, who is chairman of the Steering Committee of the Residents’ Committee, said: “To think they have done it for the second time, it was a tremendous effort on our part to convince the councillors that it was unsustainable.

“They could appeal the decision but with a 14-0 vote then it will not give them much chance and the next step would be for them to do Plan C.

“They paid £4.5m for that land and they will be looking to get their money back.

“We will see if it meets the needs of the area and the community and has to be sustainable as Eccleston and Heskin are small villages with less than 100 houses but they need doctors, schools and infrastructure for the community.”

Cllr Alan Whittaker who represents the Chisnell ward, spoke during the meeting, said: “It was unusual to see so many people in the Lancastrian Suite for just one application.

“It was a great reflection of the work by the steering committee that has been done to battle these plans.

“There were representations made by Charnock Richard parish council, myself and the steering committee and after each of them there was applause and even when the decision was made.

“I think it is generally accepted that there has to be something on there but it needs to fit in with the area.

“There are no shops on the site and not one in Charnock Richard and in the transport plan there were suggestions that people could walk to Eccleston which is not right.”

Cllr Paul Leadbetter, who represents the Chisnall ward, said: “I am delighted by the unanimous decision by the committee to refuse the planning application.

“It is an inappropriate development in green belt land and is unsustainable due to its remote location and lack of readily accessible local facilities.”

Story Homes’ Development Planner, Siobhan Sweeney said: “We are disappointed that Chorley Council has decided not to support our outline planning application for 195 new homes and employment area on land at the former Camelot theme park site.

“Our high-quality scheme would have complemented the existing character of the village. Our proposals would also have helped Chorley Council boost the supply of new homes and would have contributed to the supply of affordable housing, of which there is a shortage in the area."

“In addition the proposed development would have had a positive impact on the local economy by providing local contractors with opportunities to tender for work, with knock on benefits for local supply chains and other local businesses and services. Further benefits would have also included contributions to local education, public transport and significant open space.

“Going forward Story Homes will consider its options in respect of development proposals for this site.”