FEARS that a new holiday village would threaten a rare series of 60 tiny waterfalls on an isolated Wyedean brook have been allayed after Forest planners rejected a scheme for 41 lodges.

Tremolo Limited’s bid to change the use of the Forest and Wye Valley campsite at The Bearse sparked fears it would endanger the nearby Slade Brook SSSI by attracting more visitors.

Conservationists feared it would upset the delicate balance of water and limestone which has led to the Forest of Dean boasting one of the Uk’s finest and longest set of naturally occurring tufa dams.

The proposals included the replacement of 60 touring caravan and glamping pitches with the lodges, and the demolition of all existing facilities buildings with environmental and landscape enhancements.

It was referred to the committee by ward councillor Chris McFarling (Green, St Briavels) amid concerns all year-round accommodation and car parking beside the SSSI would encourage an increase in human pressure.

More than a dozen residents objected, alongside the parish council.

Josh Bailey, of Wye Valley National Landscape, said the site was tranquil apart from seasonal tourism peaks.

“It will erode the bucolic field which contributes positively to the character and appearance of the national landscape,” he said.

Richard Sharp said St Briavels Parish Council feared its detrimental impact on the WVNL, increased recreational pressure on Slade Brook and poor accessibility.

Philippa Davies, the applicant’s agent, said it was not an extension, just a change in the type of caravan.

“It’s important to note we have no outstanding objections from statutory consultees or the county ecologist,” she said.

“Not only do the proposals involve a reduction of the number of holiday units, we have provided data to show there will be a similar level of occupancy throughout the year.”

But Councillor McFarling said major developments to protected sites like Slade Brook, which merges with Mork Brook and flows into the Wye downstream of Bigsweir Bridge, would disturb wildlife, and cause trampling, increased fire risk and contamination of water from dog faeces.

“A walk-through would notice litter, barbecue leftovers, charred wood, plastic kindling wrappers, old trolleys and alcohol cans in the woods close to the campsite and brook,” he said.