Dam wall work set for visit by councillors

White Coppice with the lodge empty and embankment knocked down
White Coppice with the lodge empty and embankment knocked down

A controversial redevelopment of a countryside dam looks set to be visited by planning councillors before they make a decision.

Part of the dam wall at number eight Heapey Reservoir at White Coppice was removed without planning permission by the village cricket club.

The club got involved after resident David Lomas, who lives in Rose Cottage next to White Coppice cricket ground, had started the work last year.

He, too, did not have planning permission and like the cricket club, has applied for retrospective permission for the work.

Mr Lomas withdrew his original application because he did not own the whole embankment. The cricket club owns part of it.

The resident bought the adjoining lodge from Wigan Anglers who drained it before selling it. That did not need planning permission

Chorley Council’s development control committee, which meets tonight, has been recommended by planning officers that councillors go and see for themselves the impact the work has had on the area.

When the work was first carried out, shocked countryside lovers were outraged, saying it had spoiled the beauty of the area.

Cindy Dixon, chairman of White Coppice Cricket Club, said; “We weren’t having anything to with it.

“It came as a big shock to to us when all this banking was done.

“He (Mr Lomas) just made contact with us.

“He had half done it and said do we want to get involved to do the bit that was left. We did that.”

She added: “We have been there years. We had not been planning to do it.

“It was just something we went along with.

“When we wet up there it was just a mess.

“We didn’t want to leave it as it was.

“I think it was nicer when the lodge was there.”

The former reservoir was constructed around 150 years ago, in part, as a cascade that originally provided a mill dam for the supply of water power to White Coppice Mill, which was demolished in the 1960s.