SAA Secures Planning Permission for Disabled Anglersí Facilities

Steven Abbott Associates LLP has successfully progressed planning permission to extend a Wigan-based Fishery using land formerly cultivated for Christmas tree production. The owners of Fir Tree Farm Fisheries in Appley Bridge identified the site to further improve its facilities for disabled visitors due to a lack of accessible angling venues in the Borough.

Supported by The British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA), the plans involve the formation of a fishing lake, out-buildings for storing angling equipment and extreme weather shelter, as well as disabled parking and toilets.

"Having researched facilities available to disabled anglers there seems to very few fisheries in the local area with the means to cater for their specific needs,” said SAA Associate, Christie McDonald. “With this in mind - and given that essential facilities for outdoor sport and recreation are perfectly acceptable in a Green Belt location - we were confident we could secure planning permission on behalf of the owners.

“While we did receive some inevitable opposition – largely from parties protesting on potential access issues and environmental grounds – we managed to quash any concerns by close working with highways engineers, the relevant environmental bodies and the BDAA.”

Following a site visit by Wigan Council representatives and consulting experts, the application was approved by Planning Committee. Whilst it was agreed the proposal posed minimal ecological impact, the applicant was careful to complement the creation of the manmade lake by using design features such as an island, mounds and planting to preserve some of the natural character of the site. The Greater Management Ecology Unit (GMEU) was also called in to ensure that Water Voles and other protected species in nearby watercourses would not be disturbed as a result of the works and tall fencing will be installed to protect mature oak trees and existing foliage from potential damage during the development.

In managing the application on behalf of owner Mr. Martin Taylor, SAA consulted several experts including  Highways and Drainage Engineers, an Access Officer, Environmental Protection, The Environment Agency, United Utilities and GMEU.

(July 2010)