Theme park homes attract opposition

Alan Whittaker at Camelot
Alan Whittaker at Camelot

Major plans to redevelop the former Camelot theme park site into a 420-home housing estate have been described as ‘disastrous’.

The plans for the Charnock Richard site have been submitted to Chorley Council by Carlisle-based Story Homes.

But a call has gone out to “vigorously oppose” them.

Former Chorley mayor, borough and Lancashire county councillor, Alan Whittaker, who lives in Heskin, stormed: “If this goes through it could spell disaster for residents in the villages of Charnock Richard, Heskin and Eccleston.”

He claimed the proposed development was too big; schools are full; roads could not cope with up to another 700 cars; and waste water and sewage systems are full to capacity.

The site has been derelict since 2012 when the theme park closed.

Dan Barton, development planner for Story Homes, said: “The former Camelot theme park had suffered from substantial long term decline over a number of years before it no longer became viable as a tourist attraction. There is a need to redevelop the site which will otherwise remain vacant.

“Following a period of consultation, we have refined our planning application to address local issues and we look forward to further discussing the proposals with the council as the application progresses.”

Alistair Bradley, Chorley Council leader, said the council would prefer to keep site for leisure and that it was not required for housing as part of the Chorley Local Plan – the blueprint for land usage for the next 20 years.

“We don’t need it, we don’t want it, there’s no requirement for it in Chorley. We’ve got enough housing going on elsewhere,” he said. “But we have to treat every application on its merits.”

Coun Greg Morgan, Conservative group leader on the council, said: “Some of the local residents are not happy with the original plans, as I understand it, the number of properties are on the high end of what we would expect. I think we will just see how it progresses through the


He said he expected local councillors to reflect people’s views, and added: “We try to make sure that planning issues are not a party political basis.”

Story Homes responded to concerns, saying: “We are confident that our planning application to redevelop this redundant brownfield site will bring a number of key benefits to the area.

“As well as alleviating pressure on other greenfield sites, 35 per cent of the properties will be designated as affordable housing for local people, and financial contributions will be made by Story Homes to improve public transport provision and to support any required community infrastructure needs such as school capacity.

“Through thorough assessment and public consultation, we have created a sustainable proposal, which we believe will enhance the area and create a development of high quality homes whilst providing a viable long term future for the site.”