AMBITIOUS expansion plans for Reedley Marina could be on the rocks after they were recommended for refusal by Pendle Council.

Bosses at the Barden Lane attraction, which is situated on the Leeds-Liverpool canal, have applied for permission to build a 76 berth marina, new facilities and utility buildings and 46 more car parking spaces.

But the scheme could be thrown out after a report from planning officers said the application should be rejected because of the impact on green belt land.

Kathryn Hughes, planning officer at Pendle Borough Council, said: “Whilst sport and recreation are consistent with key Green Belt objectives and in this case the marina itself, this is not the case for the proposed buildings.

“In this particular case the proposed buildings are not necessary for this development and in event they have not been located appropriately and unobtrusively for this sensitive location.

“There are other potential locations out of Green Belt where the maintenance building could be located. There has been no adequate assessment of these nor any reasoned justification for the proposed new buildings.”

Natural England had raised concerns over the likelihood of legally protected species, especially bats, being present on the site and called for the application to be deferred until a survey had been carried out.

Ms Hughes said: “Marinas and mooring basins are essential facilities to support the use of the waterways for tourism and leisure and are part of the waterway infrastructure which is vital for long-term sustainability of the waterway network.

“The site in question has a number of sensitivities. It is located in the open countryside, within the Green Belt, and is adjacent to areas protected for their bio diversity value.

“It is also clearly visible from the railway, nearby public footpaths and the canal towpath, which is part of the regional cycle network at this point.”

A final decision on the plans will be made at the Brierfield and Reedley Committee meeting on May 10.