Farm hoping to welcome campers amid concerns from neighbours and highways bosses

A farm on the Staffordshire/Shropshire border hopes to welcome campers for up to four months a year – but neighbours and highways bosses have raised concerns about the plans.

 Park Lane near Market Drayton
Park Lane near Market Drayton

Park Hill Farm, near Market Drayton, rears cattle and pigs and already hosts occasional educational visits for schools, as well as offering camping facilities for a month each year.

Now the Pimlott family hope to extend the time they are allowed to operate their campsite. They are seeking permission from Newcastle Borough Council to change the use of the field at the Park Lane Farm to a 64-pitch campsite for four months a year, as well as building a new toilet and shower building.

Pat Pimlott told members of the borough council’s planning committee: “We have been running a campsite at the farm for two years under permitted development rights, which enable us to open for one month per year.

"However we have found this is quite restrictive, which is why we have applied to extend the use to four months over the summer period; June, July August and September.

“This site is for small campervans up to six metres long and tents only. The proposed pitches are low key and marked with timber pegs.

“Visitors tend to stay for long weekends to enjoy peace, nature and to help to support local facilities. This is a positive, small-scale agricultural diversification which provides additional income to support the farming activities on-site.”

The borough council’s planning committee considered the application at its meeting on Tuesday. But members deferred their decision to seek more information about passing places on Park Lane.

A report to the committee said: “The Highway Authority have requested further details be submitted in support of the application, including details of parking areas and passing places. The HA consider the site to be an unsustainable location and retain their concerns that Park Lane is a narrow unlit country road which has little passing places.”

Two nearby residents objected to the proposals on the grounds of highway safety, road deterioration, noise nuisance and impact on wildlife. But the application has been recommended for approval by planning officers at the borough council.

Committee member Councillor Barry Panter said: “I have no objection to the application as such but I’m very concerned on two points. Firstly I would like verification of where these passing places are.

“My other element of concern is considering the fact it’s an unlit road. As it’s dark and narrow I’m concerned about what could happen there. What provision, if any, is going to be made for extra lighting to make things safer?”

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