The man behind a scheme to turn a disused Somerset Quarry into an inclusive climbing centre plans to appeal after the plans were turned down.

Christopher Lane hopes to turn Conygar Quarry by Clevedon into an Olympic-standard climbing centre, with outdoor and indoor climbing facilities — all with the focus of enabling people with physical disabilities to climb along with everyone else.

Mr Lane said: “The planning application actually came about because I had years of working with people with various physical disabilities.” Mr Lane creates prosthetic for amputees modifications for motorcycles to for people with disabilities — including Clevedon veteran and motorbike racer Chris Ganley.

Now Mr Lane wants to do the same for people climbing, with a workshop planned as part of the climbing centre to build the bespoke equipment people with physical disabilities need to climb — or to adapt equipment for other sports done elsewhere.

In a statement submitted with the application, he said: “No real support mechanism exists for the majority of people with a physical disability. […] 1,000 Disabled parking spaces in a shopping area doesn’t help those that don’t need that kind of assistance.

“What’s needed is face to face contact and active involvement to identify what individuals need or don’t need and to make the difference in their lives. This proposal allows a rare and open integration, that normalises disabilities, it prevents isolation and the side effects to mental health with huge benefits.”

He added: “Children with physical disabilities will have a centralised facility for fun and entertainment and will grow up without feeling different or out of place. The integration of a large variation of ages in one place allows experiences to be shared and solutions to problems not yet know to younger individuals with physical challenges.”

The centre would also offer woodland parkour, cross country running tracks, and open space for yoga, Pilates, and similar classes, as well as a restaurant or cafe.

Locals were divided on the plan — with the latest proposal receiving 198 comments in support on North Somerset Council’s planning portal, but also 145 objections.

North Somerset Council refused planning permission, stating that it would be harmful to the green belt, but Mr Lane said it met the requirements for building in the green belt. He said: “By its own definition of brownfield and previously developed land, its more than suitable for what we applied for.”

He added that when the plans had been refused before, North Somerset Council had given him four reasons why which he had addressed. He said: “We reapplied, having addressed those four criteria and what they did was actually change the goalposts on us and started requesting additional information.”

A spokesperson for North Somerset Council said: “The planning application was for a substantial leisure development within a Green Belt area. We previously refused planning permission for the scheme in 2022, with one of the main reasons for that decision being the impact on the Green Belt.

“While the latest application for a revised scheme overcame previous reasons for refusal including traffic and landscape impact, our planning officers concluded that overall scale of the development would still be harmful to the Green Belt due to its design, scale, height, mass and external lighting. The application was refused on this basis.”

Mr Lane said that they would appeal the decision.