A CAMPAIGNER has sent a warning to developers who are planning to turn a beauty spot into a wedding venue.
Developers want to build the wedding and functions venue on an island at Wards Reservoir in Belmont — better known as the Blue Lagoon.
The plans were revealed when Cheshire-based Walsingham Planning asked Blackburn with Darwen Council for its opinion on whether an environmental impact assessment would be needed before a planning application was submitted.
The site is owned by Blue Lagoon Heritage, which has maintained it for the past few of years and is looking to recoup some of its expenses.
Railton Hirst was instrumental in arranging the purchase of the site by Blue Lagoon Heritage, after starting a campaign when the previous owners pulled the plug on the reservoir in 2010.
At the time, Mr Hirst said he was under the impression developers wanted to keep the site mainly as it was and perhaps make it more accessible to people as well as potentially creating a visitors’ centre.
Mr Hirst, aged 34, of Watts Street, Horwich, said: “That was exactly what we were looking for at the time and now all of a sudden they are talking about a wedding venue? This is against what we want.”
He said the main issue was there had been a lack of community involvement and the first time he heard about the prospective plans was in The Bolton News.
Mr Hirst added: “We just don’t feel we have been included. There are no legal objections from us, we just really want to know what is going on.
“We have arranged to sit down with the developers and look at the plans. They need to know that you can’t just go around putting buildings up without angering the local community.”
Mr Hirst, who was given a Tower FM award in 2010 for his work on the Blue Lagoon campaign, said if the plans were not what the group wanted, he was ready to “rock and roll” with a renewed campaign.
Within the document put to Blackburn with Darwen Council, Jonathan Vose, principal consultant at Walsingham Planning, said the development would be “relatively small in scale”.
He added: “The proposed bridge will not have an imposing design and the car park will not be highly visible or imposing — any impacts of the development are considered to be minor in nature and localised.”
To follow the work of the campaign, visit Save the Blue Lagoon on Facebook or follow @savetheBL on Twitter.