A CONTROVERSIAL bid to open a haven of peace and tranquillity in rural Foulridge has been rejected.

Husband and wife Dave and Jane Farnworth wanted to bring corporate clients to their new Cobwebs outdoor education centre, in a field in Cob Lane.

But a concerted campaign by villagers, amid fears over traffic logjams along the country lane, helped to convince Colne area committee members to reject the proposals.

Mr Farnworth said: “It is a location which promotes peace, tranquillity and inspiration which you cannot find in a urban area.”

He told councillors he would outdoor pursuits courses and his wife would deal with indoors activities based around leadership and team-building.

The only vehicle movements, involving up to 10 cars, would be at the beginning and the end of each day, added Mr Farnworth.

But neighbouring farmer Keith Talbot said: “Visibility is poor in many places, it has no footpath along the street and has an unrestricted speed limit.

“There have been a number of incidents where two vehicles cannot pass each other and riders and walkers find it difficult to know where to stand when a car comes.”

Land agent Simon Maher said he was concerned that no transport assessment had been submitted with the application.

Neighbours also described the location, near the Foulridge and West Craven border, as a mecca for wildlife.

Supporting refusal of the scheme, Coun Tony Greaves said: “I question whether this is a genuine form of farming diversification.”