Organic fish pond gets the go-ahead

A fish pond for organic trout rearing and an angling facility have been given the go-ahead.

A FISH pond for organic trout rearing and an angling facility have been given the go-ahead.

Councillors discussed refusing the application which was part retrospective but couldn’t find suitable grounds for objection. The plans were then passed by two councillors, Martin Burton and chair Steve Sweeney after the remaining four, Stephen Baines, Martin Peel, David Hardy and Chris Pillai all abstained.

Seven letters of objection were received from neighbouring properties to the field north of Slack Lane, Ripponden, and Ripponden Town Council also objected against the plans which are in green belt.

Objectors felt that there was no business plan and it was not commercially viable. They said it would significantly increase vehicle traffic and was not suitable for green belt.

There was also problems with the drainage although an officer from Calderdale Council said they could not identify any problems.

Councillor Robert Thornber said: “The single track road is my concern regarding pedestrian safety. It is a narrow lane and from a safety point of view there is no where for vehicles to pass.”

Agent John Roche said that 600-800 trouts would be kept in the pond and not all of them would be sold on. Those that weren’t sold would be available for anglers, who would be able to fish only two or three at any one time, he told Calderdale’s planning committee.

Councillors said they were concerned about the visibility from Merry Bent and Blue Bell Lane.

They were told that if two vehicles came head to head one of them would have to reverse and the lane was around 250 metres long.

Councillor David Hardy said: “The conflict I can see is the farmer on the other side coming down his lane to get out and being confronted with vehicles coming the other way to come fishing. It is a long way to back up with no passing.”

Councillor Martin Peel added: “I feel a lot of unresolved concerns with regards to these proposals that I can’t confidently put my support to. Vehicle moment and other issues I’m uncomfortable with it and at this particular point can’t support it. I would like to see a scheme in which I would have more confidence and be able to support and at the moment I can’t.”

Councillor Martin Burton said if the scheme was refused it would be overturned by the inspector. “I’m not happy with it,” he said. “And if I could see a reason to refuse it, but I can’t. I don’t think it is right.”

The decision was taken by Coun Sweeney to permit with a condition added at the request of one of the objectors that the ground water be protected so his crop wasn’t destroyed for a second time.