Plans for 200 static caravans approved amid wildlife fears
- Credit: Ella Wilkinson/Paul Robinson Partnership
Councillors have approved plans for two static caravan sites on the fringes of two villages - despite concerns about damage to wildlife and a tourist influx.
The proposals for 207 static caravans at Caldecott Hall and Wild Duck Holiday Park on the Belton/Fritton border were approved at a Great Yarmouth Borough Council development control meeting on Wednesday.
Some councillors initially said they would be “minded to reject the plans” if environmental protections were not guaranteed.
At Wild Duck, Bourne Leisure will replace its touring park with 50 caravans, moving the touring site to part of the golf course at Caldecott Hall.
It will then use part of a wildlife site at Belton Common as a fairway to replace lost holes.
At Caldecott Hall meanwhile, applicant Tingdene was given permission to redevelop part of the former driving range and one golf course as a site for 157 static holiday caravans.
According to planning officer Chris Green, the loss of a County Wildlife Site was the only “real biggie” council officers were concerned about.
But he added that Caldecott Hall - whose land is being bought by Bourne Leisure - has offered to gift Belton Parish Council one hectare of land as compensation.
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Parish councillor Kenneth Botwright said the Hall expected Belton council to maintain the land and pay up to £100,000 to install a fence.
Bernard Williamson said Caldecott Hall “wanted it both ways” by “selling off their land to Bourne Leisure” but refusing responsibility for managing the wildlife site.
Mr Botwright added that 50 static caravans would lead to “nightmarish” levels of traffic on Station Road North.
But 11 out of 12 borough councillors approved the plans provided the hectare of land was maintained by Caldecott Hall and that caravans remained closed for four-six weeks a year to stop them becoming a “primary site of residence”.
The second caravan site application, brought forward by Tingdene, was also passed 12 councillors to one, with Adrian Myers being the sole objector on both occasions due to increased traffic.
He said: “I’m concerned that the on-site facilities are too small for 157 caravans. This will mean tourists end up travelling to nearby villages.”
But Trevor Wainwright said the “economic benefit outweighs everything else”.
He said: “People spending money in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston is exactly what the borough needs in the aftermath of coronavirus.”