A leisure company’s bid to build 51 luxury holiday lodges in the Fens has been delayed in a dispute over sewage.
The Environment Agency wants Pure Leisure to “overcome our objection” by looking at connecting the scheme to the public foul sewer.
And they have told Pure Leisure to either revise their application to propose a mains connection “or submit evidence that demonstrates that this is not feasible”.
However Anglian Water have told Pure Leisure that there is insufficient additional treatment capacity within the main sewer system for the general area of Tydd St. Giles.
Anglian Water also says it is not feasible for them to increase the mains, public sewer system provision for the area.
Pure Leisure wants Fenland District Council to allow them to overcome objections from the Environment Agency to building the holiday homes at Tydd St Giles to be sorted once approval has been given.
“Respectfully, the as yet unexplained delay in this planning application progressing to determination is a difficulty and concern to Pure Leisure Group,” says Pure Leisure planning and development manager David Owen in an email to Fenland planners.
“With apologies to you for repeating previous comments, matters such as drainage related matters are normally addressed via the legal and due process of planning condition(s).”
Pure Leisure wants to build the holiday homes, form a new lake, and extend the existing lake at Tydd St Giles golf and leisure centre.
Mr Owen says the proposed development proposals for siting 51 luxury holiday homes is entirely separate from the current operations at Tydd St. Giles Golf and Leisure Complex.
“They are completely stand-alone, with all services, including an effluent package treatment plant (specified to accommodate 51 lodges) and to include an outflow meter, being commissioned from new (i.e., they will not be linked to the existing provision),” he says.
“The infrastructure and installations will be determined as part of the local planning authority’s planning process.”
But Alison Craggs, sustainable places planning advisor for the Environment Agency, has told Fenland Council: “We maintain our objection and wish to make the following comments.
“To overcome our objection the applicant should thoroughly investigate the possibility of connecting to the public foul sewer, and either revise their application to propose a mains connection or submit evidence that demonstrates that this is not feasible.
“The applicant should formally approach the sewage undertaker regarding a connection, for Anglian Water this is their pre-development services.
“If this has now been investigated, as suggested in the submitted email, we ask for this information to be submitted to the LPA (local planning authority) so that we can consider it as part of the planning process. “
Ms Craggs discusses, in emails, claims by Pure Leisure that they have spoken with various Environment Agency departments.
“For this proposal and the existing development, we need to consider the entire discharge volume in combination to understand the impact on habitats and the receiving watercourse,” she says.
“In addition, there have been long term compliance issues from this site.
“For these reasons it is likely a variation of the existing permit would be required.”
Villagers have raised objections to Pure Leisure’s proposals and even set up a Facebook to oppose them.
Pure Leisure, who acquired the 150-acre site in 2008, describe it as “phase four” of their aspirations.
Once complete they expect to create an additional 12 jobs to the 31, they say already work there.
The overall phase four site is 11 acres and apart from new lodges will provide a bird hide, extra parking and the new lake.
The company owns 19 holiday lodge and caravan parks in the north, one in Wales one in Yorkshire, and two in East Anglia.
Pure Leisure says they are responding to “high demand for holiday lodges” arising from the staycation effect in 2020/21.
Tydd St Giles Golf and Country Club has slowly been expanding their site since 1992 and say their current proposal will continue that work. Over forty planning applications have been submitted for the site since 1992
The new lodges will be distributed around the site “with minimal disruption to the existing golf course, and planting/landscaping as needed will be provided to maintain the natural feel of the area and provide screening.
“The proposed development will be in keeping with the existing phases of leisure holiday homes already on-site”.
Vehicle access will be via new private road, speed-controlled access roads leading in to the site from the existing highway entrance on Kirkgate.
Pure Leisure says any additional contract traffic through the village will be discouraged, as primary routes will be from the east via the A17 and A1101.
New planting areas will be introduced as part of the site layout to soften “and minimise the visual presence of the development.
“The creation of a lake in the north of the site, which will join to the existing water features onsite, will provide another habitat for the local wildlife”.
Tydd St Giles Golf and Country Club comprises over 60 hectares of land and was acquired by Pure Leisure Group in 2008.
The club comprises an 18-hole golf course and accompanying clubhouse, fishing lake, nature trail, leisure homes created as part of three previous phases, and a leisure complex including an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, gym, café, and bar/restaurant.
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