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Delamere Forest holiday lodges plan rejected by Cheshire councillors

Delamere Forest, Cheshire
Image caption Delamere Forest would have been "sustainably developed for future generations"

Plans for holiday lodges to be built in a forest have been rejected.

The Forestry Commission submitted plans which included creating 67 log cabins in Delamere Forest, Cheshire, and improving visitor facilities.

The woodland would have been "sustainably developed for future generations" but parish councils argued it would "damage" greenbelt land.

Cheshire West and Chester Council refused the planning application at a meeting earlier.

'Erosion'

Forestry Commission Chief Executive Simon Hodgson told councillors the site's "infrastructure is out of date, worn out and it needs to be reinvested in for the future".

"This is a tried and tested cabin development... The forest would remain open to the public and fully accessible around the cabins."

A coalition of three parish councils said the holiday facility at the northern tip of the forest would "change the forest and how it is enjoyed forever".

Parish councillor Nigel Gilding, from campaign group Communities Against Delamere's Destruction, said the plan represented "the start of the erosion of Delamere Forest".

The holiday lodge development would have helped pay for an improved visitor centre in the south of the woodland, more car parking and upgraded trails and paths, the Forestry Commission said.

Similar proposals were approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council in 2013, but rejected by the Secretary of State in 2014.

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