CAMPAIGNERS have been left bitterly disappointed after controversial plans to build holiday lodges in a woodland outside Great Malvern were given the green light.
The Three Counties Agricultural Society’s project to build 40 lodges and a small reception office within Langdale Wood, off Blackmore Park Road, was approved by Malvern Hills District Council’s southern area planning committee last Wednesday.
The thumbs-up followed the rejection of the charity’s original plan in January to build 50 lodges and a large reception office within the woodland, despite officers recommending approval.
Sharon Taylor, who set up the Save Langdale Wood group, launched a petition against the first application which attracted more than 1,200 signatures.
Mrs Taylor and fellow campaigners then held a protest outside the Three Counties Showground earlier this month to fight the second application but their efforts were in vain.
“We are disappointed and angry to hear the plans had been approved because we felt we had put a strong enough objection forward,” Mrs Taylor told the Observer.
“Not only did we have support from fellow residents, but we had strong backing from Hanley Castle Parish Council, the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and the Malvern Civic Society.
“For seven months we have been campaigning to try and save the last piece of woodland in Hanley Castle but it’s a huge shame our efforts were not enough.
“I am just so angry and frustrated as this application is going to affect the wildlife.
“Wildlife does not have a voice and we have tried to be their voice, but unfortunately we cannot fight anymore.”
Ken Nottage, chief executive of the Three Counties Agricultural Society, said the group was delighted the plans were approved and thanked those involved in the democratic process.
He added: “It is now for the trustees of the Three Counties Agricultural Society to determine the way forward.
“This project will contribute significantly towards securing the long-term future for the society.”