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If you have any interest in: Ufology, Paranormal, Angling, Paganism, the Eco-system and general controversy then this may just be the place for you. I am a published author of books concerning these particular topics...

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Friday, 24 October 2014


Eco-destruction of a Lancashire wildlife oasis and 'another' fragile bit of traditional rural England by developers must be opposed! 

I have reported in the past about the ecological destruction of a lovely lake in Hesketh Bank, near Southport.

I also ran a lengthy campaign some years ago, involving many leading officials (including the Mayor of London) and the UK press to try and save this lovely old wildlife sanctuary that was at the time being used as a tipping ground! Eventually tipping was stopped, although a substantial part of the water was lost.

See this link for details. 

The Southport press also reported on the situation last year.

Plans for 275 homes in Hesketh Bank have met with bitter opposition from residents who claim the rural infrastructure is not able to support any further development. A planning application has been submitted to West Lancashire Borough Council by Persimmon Homes for 275 houses, associated garages, roads and landscaping to be built on the Henry Alty site on Station Road.

However, recently additional information, as below, was given to me about this disconcerting plan to destroy the village structure. 

Persimmon Homes have now been given planning permission for a residential development, across two phases, at Henry Alty's site in Hesketh Bank.  Of course, land value also increases when planning permission in granted!

It appears that many UK communities have been at loggerheads with this particular builder. See addendum at end of this article for details. 

Because of the complexities of the site, specifically its significant ecological importance, it has taken far longer than Persimmon believed to obtain planning permission and their application has been downgraded from "full" to "outline" only.  This means that the detailed development of the site (such as number of houses, site layout etc) will have to be dealt with under what is known as "reserved matters" which will include the issue of future use of the lake.  

The first phase to be developed will be the area to the south of the main entrance to Altys (ie the area furthest away from the lake).  I understand that the northern part of the development will not begin until well into 2015 at the earliest.  

On the northern site, the developer wants to build 59 two-bedroomed homes and apartments, 89 three-bedroomed houses, 54 four-bedroomed homes and three five-bedroomed properties. On the southern site, they want to build five three-bedroomed homes, 40 four-bedroomed properties and 23 five-bedroomed houses.

Naturally all this is being met with local opposition and residents are deeply concerned about the impact such inroads will have!

Whoever is 'supposed' to be officially in charge of planning and development permission etc in this location MUST understand the the lake is a wildlife oasis (home to water voles, newts, swans, grebes, kingfishers, etc) and as such must be protected and given sanctuary. What assurances are the local Council giving that protective regulations, for both wildlife and the Hesketh Bank community, will be addressed?

A small railway around the lake is also a popular attraction with tourists and locals alike. This may also now be under threat from these developers. 

No excuses will suffice concerning yet MORE ecological destruction for fat cat profits! Rural villages like this are an English Gem and truly deserve to be safeguarded.  

I also put it to the Environment Agency and other bodies, holding a protective remit over the ecostructure, that they have a duty of care to the place and its protected wildlife that dwell therein! Are the profit - driven forces that are 'behind' this action aiming to inadvertently convert  such lovely villages and hamlets into smaller versions of overcrowded modern inner cities?

Same old story that we are all sadly becoming so familiar with... mega money talks and English heritage gets thrown right out of the window! They must 'not' be permitted to get away with it!

The impact on the delicate infrastructure, via development with increased traffic  congestion etc, of this historic Lancashire village is likely to be catastrophic and must be challenged now!  


Whoops ... problems with Persimmon Homes for many other UK communities. Here are just a few examples!  

Persimmon Homes criticised for failing to meet planning regulations

Elsewhere, Persimmon Homes was told to down tools on the large Derwent View development near the Bowes Incline in Birtley, Gateshead, after concern was expressed over the construction not complying with regulations.

Builders Persimmon cause a stink at Blyth housing development

And in 'another' location the builders left a gaping hole in a bathroom which was contributing to a sense of frustration that the stench would ever go away. Householder said: “Our new home stinks and so does Persimmon."

Abergavenny, residents protest 

Residents fear that a proposed residential development of 250 homes on the outskirts of the town will significantly increase traffic and anti-social behaviour and will overlook their homes.

It would seem that Hesketh Bank folks today have good reason to be worried! 


  1. Hi, was the lake part of the altys estate, and now under ownership of Persimmon Homes? Iv just moved to hesketh bank and saw it on Google maps and was wondering for fishing purposes. I am however an environmental management student and have studied ecology previously, so I know how important sites like this are.

    1. Yes, the place is a wildlife oasis and deserves all the protection it can get. I fought to save it some years ago (it is accentuated within this blog if one searches earlier posts) when rubbish tipping into the lake was occurring there out of control. The EA eventually stepped in and halted it, after we alerted the media. Today, the threat is again from man in the way of developments. The old place deserves much better care!