End caravan obsession

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EDITOR - Can we dare to hope the apparent obsession with caravans by East Lindsey council will end one day, and more to the point the obsession with assisting the creep of them into the rural hinterland will stop? Will we see the coastal caravan strip fill all of the land up to the A52 – then perhaps to the A16?

Hogsthorpe, which is not in the coastal strip, is the latest village to suffer further, with a planning application being approved for static caravans adjacent to the A52.

This is in spite of the fact villagers, in their plan, and a more recent survey, have made it plain they’d like to retain its rurality and not become an extension of Chapel St Leonards, and in spite of the fact there are already many vacant caravan sites across the coastal strip. So much for localism, and listening to local people, and I will be making that point to the Planning Minister.

The ward councillor also put an excellent paper forward to the Planning Committee, which ticked every possible box for reasons as to why the application should be rejected, to no avail.

The granting of the application appears to have been based on tourism and the economy. There is absolutely no justification for this on the particular site in Hogsthorpe, and a simple application of the “Public Interest Test” would quickly ascertain any possible reason for acceptance was far outweighed by reasons to reject.

Ironically, a situation that is all too common these days, an original application was made for touring caravans, closely followed by the application for static ones.

A further personal concern to me, was the fact that the chairman of the Planning Committee, Councillor Cooper, chose to use his casting vote to pass the application.

This is his right, and some may say his duty. However, on a tied vote such as this, given all of the facts, I think it would have been better to favour the objection, recognising it could then be referred to an Independent Professional for determination. It is the objectors that have no right of appeal.

I would add that I am not anti-caravans at all, having had both touring and static ones in the past, but wish to see them in the right place, and preferably where they are welcome and fit in.

Richard Enderby Hogsthorpe