Blue Lagoon wedding venue plan 'is against what we want'

Blue Lagoon in Belmont

Campaigner Railton Hirst

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

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.

Comments (4)

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9:50am Tue 29 Apr 14

thomas222 says...

You may get a shock because they can & do put up buildings that makes the Community angry. Drive around Halliwell & view the over extend extensions to houses & others buildings built 5 times bigger than the original building.
You may get a shock because they can & do put up buildings that makes the Community angry. Drive around Halliwell & view the over extend extensions to houses & others buildings built 5 times bigger than the original building. thomas222
  • Score: 6

10:19am Tue 29 Apr 14

laszlo hamar says...

Don't know why they bought it in the first place. All they do is drain it. As for planning for a wedding venue there will be no chance it is green belt.
Don't know why they bought it in the first place. All they do is drain it. As for planning for a wedding venue there will be no chance it is green belt. laszlo hamar
  • Score: 0

11:52am Tue 29 Apr 14

Beyond News Forum says...

Let the weddings commence. It will make for some fun atmospheres as rowdy drunken teens take a dip during the ceremonies.
Let the weddings commence. It will make for some fun atmospheres as rowdy drunken teens take a dip during the ceremonies. Beyond News Forum
  • Score: 4

12:19pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Don Kiddick says...

Beauty spot?
Beauty spot? Don Kiddick
  • Score: -3

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