A TOWN council has ‘strongly objected’ to plans for a leisure retreat on the Furness peninsula.

Barrow Town Council has responded to plans submitted by Queensland Country Park Ltd to build a ‘sustainable leisure retreat’ on land off Hawthwaite Lane in Roanhead.

According to plans lodged with Westmorland and Furness Council, the proposed development would consist of 23 holiday lodges, 10 glamping pods, 24 caravan/motorhome pitches, a facilities building, an amenity block and a booking office.

A design and access statement said: “The application seeks to provide a low-impact, sustainable, leisure retreat for visitors to Roanhead, and for local residents.”

Barrow Town Council said the proposed development was in an ‘unsuitable site’ and would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on existing wildlife.

The town council added they had concerns over sewage disposal and said the plans would ‘create an excess of vehicles’ on roads.

One aim set out in planning documents is: “To restrict development, as far as possible, to those parts of the application site which have low habitat value and recognise the need for sensitive landscaping and management of the site, whilst utilising the applicant’s wider land ownership to add to the biodiversity and nature conservation value of the local area, without causing harm to the nearby sensitive coastline habitats.”

Planning documents said another aim of the proposed development was to provide ‘ecologically friendly’ leisure accommodation that would promote the physical and mental health of its visitors.

The design and access statement said the site would have a maximum capacity of 208 bedspaces and therefore expects to attract approximately 6,000 to 9,000 guests per year.

According to ‘worst case’ traffic scenario analysis by Turner Lowe Associates, the Queensland Country Park application proposal would have ‘negligible effect’ on queuing at, and on the capacity of, the A590/Oak Lea Road junction and the A590/Park Road Junction.

This is alone, or in combination with, the adjacent Roanhead Lodge Resort application proposal, planning documents state.

According to plans submitted, foul water run-off would be treated by new, on-site sewage treatment plants, and ‘does not’ present an increased flood risk to the surrounding district.

The applicant distances itself from plans for the neighbouring Roanhead Lodge Resort and added this application does not include any on site bar, restaurant, café, indoor sports facilities or any indoor events/meeting areas.

Planning documents state: “In short, the applicant merely wishes to provide eco-friendly lodge accommodation and touring caravan facilities, of appropriate scale, for visitors and local people wishing to enjoy the unique experience and tranquillity associated with Roanhead and this part of the Cumbrian coastline.”

According to the proposals there will be direct employment benefits and further indirect employment benefits for the local economy from visitors wishing to visit Barrow and Dalton town centres as well as Askam village.

Plans add: “Although the applicant is not claiming a substantial quantum of job creation benefits, the positive socio-economic impacts, together with the substantial biodiversity net gain generated by improvements to the applicant’s wider land ownership, will more than offset the limited on-site ecological impacts, and the wider landscape and visual impacts that have been identified.

Developers ILM group have lodged plans on a neighbouring site for the installation of 233 lodges, nearly half the previously proposed 450 lodges for the site.

They claim this would ‘significantly’ reduce the number of visitors to the site and potential associated impacts on the natural environment.

ILM Group add independent economic consultants Hatch project the Roanhead Lodge Resort would also provide an estimated £10.8m annually in visitor spending for Cumbria.

However, the proposals have faced opposition with Barrow Town Council labelling the type of development  ‘totally unsuitable’ for the area and state it would have an ‘overbearing impact’ on the countryside.

Friends of the Lake District, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and the National Trust, among other organisations, have objected to the proposals. A petition titled ‘Save Roanhead from Developers’ also has nearly 8,500 signatures.