Approval recommended for extension of holiday park in south Shropshire
Plans to expand a holiday park in south Shropshire look set to be approved despite concerns over the visual impact on the surrounding countryside.
Ludlow Touring and Holiday Home Park has applied for the change of use of a neighbouring field to accommodate 61 extra pitches, for lodges and static caravans.
The application has the backing of 73 representatives from local businesses, but Richards Castle Parish Council has objected to the plans.
Shropshire Council officers have now deemed the scheme is acceptable, but the final decision rests with the authority’s southern planning committee which will meet next week to vote on the application.
The park is run by Morris Leisure and opened in 2012. When it was originally approved the site was to accommodate 137 touring pitches, but in 2015 this was amended so 38 of the pitches could be used for static units.
The parish council has argued that the site was never intended to be a static holiday home park.
It said: “The parish council considers that this will be too many static sites which have a greater visual impact by being permanently in place.
“Static caravans were not intended to be part of the holiday park when originally established.
“Static sites were introduced subsequently, and it was understood that touring sites would continue to be dominant in the holiday park.
“The proposed plans reverse this, making static sites the majority, should the application be granted.
“The parish council objects to the holiday park being dominated by static sites due to the visual impact and over-development of the site.
“Furthermore, the density of the proposed additional sites is too high. The parish council believes more consideration should be given to enhancing green areas, and without this the visual impact is too great.”
Councillor Vivienne Parry, who represents Ludlow South on the county council, made neutral representations, re-iterating the parish council’s concerns.
A report to the committee says a pre-drafted letter of support was signed by 73 representatives from local businesses. No objections were received from members of the public.
The report, by planning officer Louise Evans, concludes the proposals will benefit the local economy and should be approved.
It says: “Tourism is an important business sector and contributes significantly to the Shropshire economy in helping to support local shops, pubs, restaurants and generating local employment.
“However, within the countryside there has to be a balance between positive benefits and potential negative impacts of tourism development which can be felt immediately adjoining the site and within the wider area from the use of the site, for example, through increased journeys.
“In this regard, the development is well served with direct access to a class B highway and close proximity to the A49 Trunk Road managed by National Highways.
“It is recognised that there will be landscape and visual impacts as a result of the development, but these can be appropriately mitigated and controlled through the use of planning conditions such that they would not result in an unacceptable level of harm and this is not outweighed by the benefits of the development and its contribution to the local economy.”
The committee will meet next Tuesday to decide the application.