A Berrow caravan park’s plans to create 96 new static caravan pitches to be used by tourists and Hinkley Point workers has been refused by Somerset Council.
The authority has rejected proposals to build a large extension to Rose Farm Caravan Site in Red Road, Berrow into a field to the east.
The current caravan park says it is a popular destination and is often so full it has to turn tourists away with “a near 100 per cent occupancy rate during the summer months”, according to planning documents.
Plans were revealed earlier this year to add 96 new static caravan pitches to the site, together with picnic areas and a recreational square. Planning documents state the proposed caravans would be used for “holiday lets but also to house workers from Hinkley Point that require temporary accommodation.”
However, the planning application has been refused by Somerset Council. A spokesperson says: “The proposal for the siting of 96 static caravans in this flat Estuarine Levels landscape with limited trees and hedgerows has the potential to create an unduly prominent and visually intrusive form of development to the detriment of the visual amenities of the locality and its landscape character.”
The council adds: “The proposed 96 caravans, whether occupied by holiday makers or Hinkley workers, have the potential to generate significant levels of additional traffic on the local road network. The site is in an area at high risk of risk flooding.”
The applicants operate the existing Rose Farm Caravan Site in Berrow, as well as a number of other local caravan sites, including Edithmead, Parsonage Farm at Berrow, Fairways at Bawdrip, Coombe Cider Park at Mark and New House Farm at Walrow. The businesses are all run by a family team.
Planning documents state: “This project involves huge investment by the applicant to improve the tourism offer available to the district. It will create direct employment on the site together with direct employment off the site from suppliers and contractors.”
“Since lockdown has lifted, the site has experienced a near 100 per cent occupancy rate during the summer months, and visitors are often turned away due to lack of space. This level of demand has been matched at the applicant’s other sites in Somerset.”
“A clear pattern of demand exists for holiday space in this location and this has been expanding exponentially over the years. This pattern is expected to continue.”
“As well as holiday demand, the management have been in discussions with Hinkley Point and have established that there remains an unfulfilled demand for housing for its workers and that temporary housing at Rose Farm will help to satisfy that demand.”