Concerns raised over caravan developments

Caravans at Chapel St Leonards
Caravans at Chapel St Leonards

Concerns have been expressed by residents over the impact of caravan park developments on a coastal village.

The issue was debated at a special meeting at Chapel St Leonards.

The meeting, at Chapel Village Hall, was organised to explain to local residents the approach the council takes towards planning applications for new and extended caravan developments.

Representatives from East Lindsey District Council faced a series of questions from the public over the extent of caravan development in the village.

Criticism centred on the impact on health services, roads, the environment, and quality of life.

The authority was accused of ‘not taking the views of the public into account’ and ‘rushing applications through’.

Chapel was branded ‘a picture of disaster’ by one member of the public while another said the village needed to be ‘sorted out’ before any new caravan developments were permitted.

Stan Bruce claimed: “The infrastructure cannot cope now. It can take more than an hour to get to Skegness.”

Concern was also raised over the time it could take to respond to an emergency in the village.

Charles Christopher said: “You could not evacuate this village in an emergency. There is no way we are getting out with all the caravans in front of us.”

Portfolio holder for planning Coun Richard Fry promised that more action could be taken with the planned devolution of extra powers to local government.

He said: “We can see where the pinch points are and are making plans to improve the situation.

“We will talk to health providers and already have more agency meetings planned with the Highways, Environment Agency and Anglian Water. It is important to make sure there is dialogue to get this plan in place.”

The council’s development control manager Chris Panton said that developers had to go through a sustainability appraisal and residents also needed to play their part in identifying issues of concern.

He added: “I am not saying there is not a problem with the roads, it is just not judged to be a severe problem.

“Residents need to supply evidence of it taking two hours to travel to Skegness - that detail would form important information.”

Mr Panton said a planning inspector’s ruling had put an end to the council’s caravan tariff amid concerns it was unlawful when granting planning permission for a new development at the Eastview Caravan Park in Trunch Lane last December.