A UNIQUE purpose-built fishery is rallying for support to get from clever plans to reality after a council voted against it.

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Disabled fishing and an eco project forms the unique proposition that some angling experts see as a ‘fishery of the future’.

Robert Taylor-Hughes is trying to get planning permission to create the  fishery – combined with an eco farm that will grow crops using fish waste as fertiliser.

Staveley-in-Cartmel Parish Council voted against the scheme 4-3 in the first meeting.

So now Robert hopes to persuade the planning officer to get the ruling overturned and to push ahead with his Eco Lake Farm and Fishery in Cumbria.

Robert told Angler’s Mail: “The council rejected the plans 4-3.

“The pitchforks were truly out from the ‘backward neighbourhood’ and there was even a negative poster campaign posted along the road leading to the fishery.

“I’m basically trying to create a farm on farmland and a disabled fishery on a water that has traditionally had fishing.”

Disabled fishing group involved

Robert continued: “I’ve been in consultation with the British Disabled Angling Association to help design it.

“We’ll be having proper disabled pegs, disabled toilets and a special kitchen so wheelchair users can make a hot drink.

“But some locals are against it saying I’m a property developer and will be putting in a leisure centre and a house – when I’m not.

“But we’ve got provisional funding and permission from the Government in the Rural Payments Agency and DEFRA respectively but the council voted against it.

“I’ve got a meeting with the council planning officer coming up and a chance to overturn the decision in a public meeting on March 6.

“The farm side is interesting. Native fish will be grown on site for bio-security and the fish waste recycled into fruits and plants in a closed loop water recycling process.

“The beauty of this process is that no fertilisers, herbicides or pesticides are required so there is no environmental impact whatsoever.

“Because the system is gravity-fed, minimal energy is required which can be run from solar technology.

“The process is six times more efficient than traditional farming, uses 95 per cent less water and has no degradation impact to soil as it is a soilless system.

“The only bi-product of this growing method is the fish themselves which can be used for restocking,” concluded Crook-based Robert.

Disabled fishing plan gets backing

Backing for the unique scheme has come from Simon Pomeroy, of tackle and bait firm Pallatrax.

Simon said: “It is an incredibly exciting project where our great sport will be able to run alongside sustainable Aquaponics farming.

“The fact that the fishery will also be the first disabled angler fishery of its kind in the region only makes the initiative even more inspiring.

“In a day and age where all in angling should be focused on environmental best practice, wouldn’t it be great to see more of these types of fisheries being rolled out across the country?”

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