Concern over lodges planned for ancient woodland near King’s Cliffe in East Northants

Jacks Green near King's Cliffe
Jacks Green near King's Cliffe

Dozens of objections have been made to plans for 55 holiday lodges in ancient woodland in East Northamptonshire.

Rockingham Forest Park Ltd has applied for a change of use of Jacks Green, near King’s Cliffe, to provide for a range of caravan lodges, camping pitches and visitor facilities.

Jacks Green near King's Cliffe  (Photo from GP Planning Ltd)

Jacks Green near King's Cliffe (Photo from GP Planning Ltd)

If approved, the proposed development would have 56 hardstanding bases for 55 mobile home-style lodges and nine camping pitches.

The site at Rockingham Forest Park is a clearing which is bounded by mature and ancient woodland.

During the Second World War, Jacks Green was used as an extension to the US Air Force Station. Glenn Miller conducted his orchestra in his last airfield hanger concert in October 1944, which is denoted by a small memorial located in the south of Jacks Green.

The application has been recommended for approval by East Northamptonshire Council’s planning management committee, but there have been 44 letters of objection to the plans and just one in support.

Concerns raised include access and traffic implications, impact on the countryside, the effect on public rights of way/bridleways, impact on ancient woodlands and noise, light and air pollution.

In a report on the plans due to be considered by councillors next week, it states: “The Woodland Trust objects to the above application due to the damage it will cause to ancient woodland in respect of the access road, the siting of the lodges and the drainage and utilities infrastructure.”

Comments from the Campaign to Protect Rural England also included in the report state: “We are very concerned in respect of this application. Firstly it is of considerable size and in the open countryside, which is currently recognised as an area of special tranquillity.”

However, the report’s conclusion states: “Officers are supportive of the development and recognise that the site can offer a unique visitor destination and experience.”

The plans will be discussed at the meeting starting at 7pm on Wednesday, September 23, at East Northamptonshire House in Thrapston.

To see the full report, go to http://www.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/meetings.