Bid for more lodges at quarry holiday park next to M69 motorway denied
A bid to add more lodges to a holiday park in an old quarry has been denied, with the applicant denying claims it’s a secret attempt to build a travellers' site. The site on land next to the M69 in Earl Shilton was previously approved for 21 holiday lodges in March this year, with Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council officers telling applicant Ian Fenny he must improve an access road as part of planning conditions.
A second application, this time by A T Contracting and Plant Hire, sought to increase the number of lodges at the former Barrow Hill Quarry to 36. An agent representing the company told the council’s plans committee last week the increase was necessary to bring in enough money to cover the £400,000 he said is needed to pay for improvements to the access road, which include resurfacing and the creation of passing places for vehicles.
But councillors were not impressed by the application, with Councillor Mark Bools saying ‘It doesn’t sit well’. Councillors at March's planning meeting said it would be perfect for 'Eddie Stobart spotters', while objections from locals said it was an odd place for holiday accommodation due to motorway noise, traffic fumes and the smell of a nearby dairy farm.
There were two objections to the latest plans, with one saying: "At the committee meeting where the previous scheme was approved, it was stated that this site will absolutely not be used as a travellers' site. This new application has increased unit numbers with a much denser overall layout. I feel that this is just the start, with the site ultimately evolving into exactly that, a travellers' site."
Speaking on behalf of the applicant at last week's meeting, Lance Wiggins of Lion Planning said planning conditions ensured the lodges could only be used as holiday homes. "I restate that the application is not an attempt to establish the principle for an alternative use such as a travellers' site. The proposed lodges are not residential dwellings."
He added: "This second application, which includes an additional 15 lodges, has been submitted to boost the viability of the scheme in order that the applicants can meet the cost of the full resurfacing and creation of passing places on Mill Lane. This work’s been costed at around £400,000 which is far in excess of what was envisaged at the time planning permission was granted for the initial scheme.” Mr Wiggins also said the scheme would bring significant benefits to the local economy.
Councillor Richard Allen said: “I actually welcome that something is going to be done with this site, which has been a source of anti social behaviour with scramble bikes for way too long. However, this particular application just goes too far.”
Coun Bools said: “The original scheme was for 21 and that seemed appropriate for the site. I understand the tourism aspect of the borough quite well, but this just seems to be over-egging the pudding. We’ve seen it with other developments – they get permission for a certain amount, and they come back and ask for more. It doesn’t sit well when applicants do this.”
The access road proved a sticking point for Councillor Maureen Cook, who said: “The road really worries me. One of the first things that people do when they go on holiday is have a barbecue which means fires, and how on earth is an emergency vehicle going to get down there fast?”
Councillor Chris Boothby said: “What we’re actually talking about here is a holiday park, A holiday park that was 21 [lodges] and is now 36, with no amenities, no clubhouse, no swimming pool. Would you want to stay there?
"This is just wrong. I take on board what the agent said. With all due respect you just said you wanted to get stuck in straight away. You’ve had seven months to start on the 21; you’ve done nothing."
The committee voted to refuse planning permission at last Tuesday’s meeting.