THE Government will now decide whether 70 luxury holiday cabins can be built in Delamere Forest.

In a letter to the principal planning officer at Cheshire West and Chester Council, the Secretary of State said he would now determine the future of the plans.

“The Secretary of State is of the opinion that the application is one that he ought to decide himself because he considers that the proposal concerns matters that might conflict with the national policies on important matters,” it said.

In October plans were approved to reorganise the forest’s existing visitor hub to provide a replacement centre and the construction of 70 luxury holiday cabins at the northern end of the forest.

The scheme put forward by Forest Holidays and the Forestry Commission gained the backing from eight of CWAC’s strategic planning committee.

However, there will now be a local inquiry and all documents regarding the proposals have now been requested by the Planning Inspectorate in Bristol.

Inspectors want to determine whether the cabins would be in breach of national policies on greenbelt land and whether they are consistent with the development plan for the area.

Members of Communities Against Delamere’s Destruction (CADD) fought against the plans and gathered a petition with 3,618 signatures in support of their campaign.

Lead campaigner Nigel Gilding this week said: “The news that the proposals are to be the subject of a public inquiry is very welcome. We now need to ensure that the diggers are stopped in their tracks to prevent further damage to the forest.

“We have written to the planning department and asked for them to issue an enforcement notice to prevent any preparatory works from going ahead until the public inquiry is complete and the decision published.”