Assington caravan park change concerns residents

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Residents in Assington have raised concerns over changes to the conditions agreed as part of planning permission for a caravan and camping park, fearing it could open the door for full-time occupancy at the site.

When planning permission was granted in 2015 to allow for agricultural land at The Barn at Assington to be used to site 19 static caravans, 22 touring/tent plots and 22 plots for the winter storage of caravans, a number of conditions were included.

This meant caravan owners could not occupy their caravans for more than 28 consecutive days or reoccupy any caravan or plot on the site during the first 28 days following their most recent stay.

However, using a case at Honeypot Farm Caravan Park in Wortham, Suffolk, the applicant Trevor Thain has requested for these conditions to be changed.

Under Mr Thain’s proposals the conditions would still state that: “Static caravans and the caravan/camping pitches shall be occupied for holiday purposes only and shall not be occupied or used as a person’s sole, or main place of residence.”

However, the time limit of 28 days would be removed.

Babergh case officer Kathryn Oelman said a precedent had been set in appeals such as this in the Honeypot Farm case.

There the planning inspectorate agreed with the applicant that the site’s main purpose was still for tourism, as included in the wording, and did not uphold an economic argument that the 28-day rule increased visitor spending.

Despite this four representations were sent in to Babergh, whose planning committee will make a decision on the condition change on Wednesday.

The objections claimed the caravans would be used as permanent residences that the condition change undermined the economic principles upon which the original condition was granted, that 47-week stays were not conducive to tourism benefits and that the changes would result in increased traffic and congestion.