OPPONENTS of plans to turn an old Bowland hall into a five-star hotel and conference venue have set up a lobby group and launched a website to air their concerns.
A decision on the proposal at Wyreside Hall is expected within the next few weeks, but opponents claim it will bring problems to the relatively quiet area.
The new group is called Protect Wyresdale, and is made up of residents from the rural area.
Chairman Graham Chapman said: “This application is unsustainable. This beautiful valley is an unspoilt gem, the brightest jewel in Lancashire’s crown.
“It is an area loved for its tranquillity, and heavily used by horse-riders, joggers, walkers, and cyclists from all over the north west. The lanes are very narrow and tortuous.
“It would be dangerous in the extreme to load so many extra cars on to them.
“The proposed new buildings will be an eyesore alongside the graceful Hall. We are not against re-developing Wyreside Hall.
“We just think the current plans are the worst and most destructive way to develop the property. Nor is there any business survey, which can demonstrate the slightest need for the enterprise.”
He added: “Claims are made that the hotel will create 40 jobs (25 full-time and 15 part-time) and provide a boost to the local economy.
“Jobs, of course, are welcomed, but there are more appropriate sites for such development and residents are sceptical about the sustainability of this particular proposal. They fear it will alter the character of this unique valley and destroy the assets which attract visitors.”
As well the impact on roads, the group also fears light pollution, an impact on wildlife, and visual impact.
Not all residents oppose the plans. One villager who has lived in the area all her life contacted The Courier, claiming many of the opponents were newcomers to the area.
The planning agents for the scheme, Graham Anthony Associates, have also defended the plans and submitted detailed supporting documents to Wyre Council.
n Protect Wyresdale’s website can be viewed at www.protectwyresdale.org.