RESORT: Plans not for residents

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I refer to your article regarding proposals for Percy Wood Golf and Country Retreat (Northumberland Gazette, February 2), and would like to give you a resident’s perspective.

The owners of caravans and lodges on the site have not been consulted. No one is on site at the moment, therefore they will be unaware of the applications.

Many of the residents/caravan owners are mature, who have either retired or are settled in their lifestyles, and are totally against the proposals. Many wouldn’t use a gym or a swimming pool.

The proposals appear to be for other people, rather than the present owners, trying to attract holidaymakers, not long-term residency, which has traditionally been the ethos of the site and the one that the majority of the present caravan owners signed up to.

I feel that we are being ignored and that another type of customer is being chased to the detriment of those who have invested a great deal of money in the purchase of their caravans and the site fees of around £3,000 per year.

We have received no warning of the proposals, which could easily have been done as the site frequently sends out flyers with information of forthcoming events, etc. The timing of the application comes when there are no residents on the site for a full month, thus making an ‘angry revolt’ less likely.

I don’t think there is anything like a residents’ association so I suspect there may be no co-ordinated objection, but I am convinced that many, like me, do not want a ‘hub’ and want to retain the golf course and the beauty and tranquillity of the site, not turn it into a sprawling caravan campsite, full of one-week holidaymakers. This is not what I bought into.

I bought my caravan last year because of the 18-hole golf course and the tranquillity the site offers. Indeed, all of the literature and advertising for the site is based upon its golf facilities and setting. At no time did anyone suggest that the ethos might change and that it would be opened up to short-term holidaymakers. Had they done so, I would not have bought a caravan there.

Granted, the clubhouse does not attract much custom at times, but that is probably more down to a change in lifestyles, where mature people tend not to visit pubs or clubs, but stay in and have a drink at home. I do not believe it has anything to do with the siting of the club, it’s more to do with what’s on, for example the club is always full on bingo night. It’s interesting to note that these proposals have been made at a time when the clubhouse has had a major overhaul, with new upholstery.

The site has not been somewhere for one or two-week holidays, rather one where people stay for long periods of time. Indeed, some stay for the entire 11 months, leaving only when compelled to do so in February.

I hope every resident/caravan owner who objects to the proposals lets their objections be known by contacting Northumberland County Council planning department.

Andrew Brown

Wetherby