Firm says it has no further plans for holiday lodges at woodland near Corby
The firm behind a failed bid for holiday lodges at Fineshade Wood has said it is not looking to submit another application.
Forest Holidays had a previous bid to build a holiday village refused in 2015 after a successful campaign by locals.
But despite the plans being refused by East Northants Council at the time, people have continued to fear that the company could submit a second plan at some point.
These concerns were raised with MP for Corby and East Northants Tom Pursglove, who spoke on the issue in the House of Commons last week.
Writing on his Facebook page afterwards, the MP said: “It is imperative that Fineshade Wood is preserved for generations to come - something I believe very strongly, and have been a longstanding active supporter of the campaign against plans to install holiday lodges in the beautiful and tranquil woods.
“Last Thursday, I raised this in the House of Commons, asking if the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would meet with me, along with representatives of the Friends of Fineshade, to discuss what can be done to ensure that Forest Holidays’ longstanding interest in the site finally comes to an end - not least with the ongoing review that is taking place regarding the relationship between the Forestry Commission and Forest Holidays and the governance and commercial arrangements for its management of the estate.
“Pleasingly, he said he would be delighted, and agreed that my concerns were very well placed.”
Following the MP’s comments, Forest Holidays has responded.
The spokesman said: “It has been four years since we submitted a planning application at Fineshade Wood.
“Following recent speculation and questions raised locally, we would like to make it clear that we have no plans to bring forward a further application.
“In the 45-year history of Forest Holidays on the Forestry Commission estate, only a small number of cabin locations have been created, integrated sustainably on just 0.02 per cent of the Public Forest Estate in Britain, yet the benefits they bring to surrounding rural economies are considerable.
“Forest Holidays makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing management of the Public Forest Estate, helping to support the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the country.
“Considering new locations is a complex and stringent process, which takes years to complete and results in very few sites being taken forward.
“We remain focused on working with the Forestry Commission, Natural Resources Wales and Forest Enterprise Scotland on our many other opportunities to create authentic experiences in Britain’s amazing forests and to bring benefits for people, nature and rural communities across the UK.”
A Forestry Commission spokesman said: “Forest Holidays have made it clear that they have no plans to bring forward a further planning application for Fineshade Wood while they focus on other priorities across England, Scotland and Wales and we understand and respect their decision.
“Our successful, long-term commercial partnership with Forest Holidays is one of many we have, and they are all built on sound business decisions that can bring benefits to local woodlands and their visitors as well as the wider rural economy.”