Work to lodge could prove a costly exercise

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A homeowner could be facing an expensive repair bill after he removed a dam wall without planning permission.

David Lomas caused outrage among lovers of the beauty spot when he carried out the work next to his cottage in scenic White Coppice during the summer.

Now, months later, he has been told by Chorley Council that he must have planning consent.

Mr Lomas, whose Rose Cottage overlooks the village cricket ground, removed the dam wall and embankment to the adjacent Heapey No 8 reservoir and extended a parking area.

He bought the former mill lodge from Wigan and District Angling Association, but ssaid an Environment Agency inspection revealed repair work that needed to be carried would be too costly.

And he said he understood he did not need planning permission to carry out the changes he made.

But when people who enjoy the countryside in that area saw what he had done, they were furious and accused him of destroying the beauty and wildlife of the area and called for it to be restored.

Scores of objections to Mr Lomas’s retrospective application have been posted on Chorley Council’s website.

They include

n “White Coppice is an area of outstanding natural beauty and part of W Lancs moors.

n “My sister used to live at Rose Cottage and when they restored the cottage it was all done so as not to damage environment.

n “I feel the same rules should apply.

“Who do people think they are to abuse the rules that most of us adhere to. I believe he should be made to restore the banking before next summer. then made to pay CBC costs.”

n “I am distressed to see what is being done so unjustly.

“I visited this beautiful area 16 years ago when I visited my dad’s family living in Chorley.

“I have a beautiful photograph in my lounge room reminding me of the lovely walks and the countryside.

“So English. It would be a tragedy for not just locals if this was lost.”

n “Having grown up in one of the cottages by the side of the cricket pitch and to now go home and see what has become of this area of natural beauty makes my blood boil.

“It is obvious that this has been done without planning permission as something so detrimental to the landscape of a conservation area would never have been passed. I hope that the council enforce that this area is returned to its previous state and that the hideous and unsightly carpark and gate are removed.

“Totally unnecessary and very off putting to walkers.

“I don’t know what this person was thinking who did this.

“Obviously has a total disregard to his neighbours and a lack of respect for this area that many people come to

enjoy.”

n “Some people are not happy with what we have around us, and have to destroy what was and as been part of the magic of White Coppice.

“I was born and reared in White Coppice and although I now live away I think that to take away from others what is part of the scenery at the cricket field is just not on.

“I don’t know this thoughtless person, but if I was still living there I would certainly be making louder noises.”

The deadline for objections to Mr Lomas’ application is

today.

Mr Lomas declined to

comment.