Plans for massive farmland marina hit rocks

Worcester News: Plans for massive farmland marina hit rocks Plans for massive farmland marina hit rocks

A MASSIVE new marina plan has been sunk at planning appeal – but could resurface in the future.

A planning inspector said there was not enough good evidence to prove that a new 202-berth marina was needed at Cummins Farm in Hindlip Lane, near Worcester.

Wychavon council planners had turned down the planning bid by the landowner last May, so the landowner appealed against the decision. The marina is in the green belt where tougher rules apply to any building plans meaning an applicant must show there is more benefit than harm to the area if permission stands a chance of being granted.

In the marina’s case, the planning inspector Keith Manning said the applicant had not shown the “very special circumstances” needed to get approval.

He said the application – although not causing great harm to the green belt – was nevertheless missing “the key ingredient, to tip the balance decisively” in favour of permission, citing the lack of detailed evidence on why a marina was needed. But the inspector did suggest any new bid might stand up better if a far more detailed analysis was provided taking in existing berths at Worcester and Droitwich.

The inspector’s report read that “in absence” of any evidence of “market need for marina capacity specifically for the Birmingham and Worcester canal between the West Midlands and the Severn, including the forthcoming Droitwich marina, the inspector concluded there was no compelling need for the proposed development [the Hindlip marina].”

They said the application was good in some aspects, notably in being “sustainable” or “fitting-in” to the location, but said the quite separate Droitwich Marina – in Hanbury Road Droitwich – which serves canal boats “on the same part of the network” had to be taken into account.

The inspector said a lot of weight was given to the possible benefit to the local economy, but again this was being overshadowed by the potential over-supply of berths given other local moorings.

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