A caravan park in the Broads has been allowed to expand despite concerns it would be a "blot on the landscape".

Almost 100 people signed a petition against plans by Priory Farm to expand their operations on Beccles Road in St Olaves.

The site, which is located on the banks of the River Waveney, opened in 2020 with pitches for five caravans.

The owners then applied to the borough council to install spaces for another 30 touring mobile homes on the site.

Great Yarmouth Mercury: Planners said an expanded caravan park in St Olaves would bring economic benefits to the village.Planners said an expanded caravan park in St Olaves would bring economic benefits to the village. (Image: Google Maps)

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But the plans stirred up fierce opposition in the village, and in February last year, almost 100 residents signed a petition demanding that planners reject the proposal.

Among the concerns were that the caravan site would "interrupt the stunning views of the surrounding Broads and marshes".

Despite the objections - which also included 11 letters from neighbours - planners at Great Yarmouth Borough Council have approved the proposal.

They said it would bring economic benefits by attracting more holidaymakers and potentially creating additional jobs in the village.

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The scheme, they said, could result in additional staff being hired to run the adjacent Priory Farm Restaurant which currently runs for three days a week "with skeletal staff".

Further spend to the nearby Bell Inn would also be a public benefit, they added.

Fritton and St Olaves Parish Council had objected to the plans, which also include a new shower block, due to concerns about an increase in traffic and an adverse impact on wildlife.

Other concerns were related to safety along the A143, noise and light pollution during construction and the impact on water supply and sewage. 

In response to the objections, the caravan park owners, who have lived in St Olaves for over 40 years, said they had "invested heavily" in the village by planting more than 3,000 hedgerows and over 60 trees.

They also said they "keep the site extremely clean, tidy, and well maintained" which is "evident to anyone who lives locally".