Milk does not need to be extra cheap. If ALL retailers paid a fair price then they could still all sell it at a competitive price without undercutting each other and putting pressure on farmers to supply at below cost price.
On the question of how all these lodges would be powered and heated - they will have ground source heat pumps for heating. But they could not tell me anything about use of renewable energy - some muttering about solar PV (under the trees?) and even turbines - because you can clear a channel for wind through the forest, you know! - but I was not convinced they had factoring this in as there is nothing on the plans. The lodges are made sectionally in Northern Ireland and assembled on site using big cranes to put the parts in place. there has been no assessment or prediction of the carbon footprint - the developers did not seem to think this was an issue.
I asked the question about spending in the local economy. On one hand they were saying that visitors to the lodges would use local shops and pubs/restaurants. They could not tell me what the shops on the plan of the Linmere site would be 'they're not really shops'(?). On the other hand - regarding traffic in and out of the forest - they tried to say that these visitors would actually be spending most of their time in the lodges and would not be driving in and out. Plus the gates would be locked - maybe at 10pm. Not much use if you have gone off for a meal - or a wild night at Amore!! I also asked if the delivery options offered at other Forest Holiday sites would be on offer at Delamere and, if so, would the items be from local producers and suppliers. They could not supply any of that info. So potentially this could benefit small local shops such as Ashton Hayes Community Shop (plug!!), Delamere Stores and Kingsley Co-op but it might just benefit Ocado!
Also we were told that there is 'no wildlife' in that part of the forest. So those badger setts on the plan are, like the shops, not really there.
There are only pics of the proposed cabins - no plans or details of proposed facilities. The distance to the visitor centre means that users are likely to drive somewhere when they need supplies. Maybe they will go to local shops in Kingsley, Delamere or Ashton? Probably they will just go to a large supermarket en route or order a delivery online.. If there is a shop on site, will they want to walk there if it's dark or will they expect lighting? What about the existing energy supply - if these cabins are full of electrical equipment - flat screen TV, cookers, fridges even saunas; what about heating? - is the local supply up to this? Will there be green, renewable energy? How eco friendly will they be; local communities are working hard to lower their carbon footprints but this will hugely affect CO2 emmissions. A spokesperson says " It's for people who really want to enjoy the forest experience" . . but we will tell you how and where you can enjoy it. Cycle HERE! Picnic HERE! Walk HERE! Don't go HERE! How are they going to prevent parking along the 'switchback road' through the forest without something intrusive? There could be some benefit to local pubs and restaurants but this could all be achieved without building IN the forest - the old Marley site could be developed instead, leaving more of the forest to be enjoyed.