End in sight for a decision over park expansion plans

Coquet View caravan park, Warkworth.
Coquet View caravan park, Warkworth.

A long-awaited decision on expansion plans at a coastal holiday retreat, for an extra 124 static caravans at the site, is expected to be made in the summer.

The application for Warkworth’s Coquet View Leisure Park was submitted to Northumberland County Council last year.

The proposal is to extend the existing caravan site by an additional 4.3 hectares to accommodate the static holiday units, each with a concrete hardstanding and individual parking space.

Provision is also made in the plans for a new reception office to service the park, plus a sales area at the northern end of the proposed extension.

However, the application, which has received a number of objections, has become something of a long, drawn-out saga.

Despite the consultation period closing shortly before Christmas, the future of the scheme is still up in air, as no decision has been made by the county council. This week the Gazette was told that the authority is aiming to approve or refuse the scheme within the next few months.

A county council spokesman said: “There are a number of outstanding matters that we are trying to resolve with the applicant. We are currently looking at a date of determination – by committee or delegated powers – by mid-June.”

A design and access statement, prepared by GVA on behalf of Warkworth Dunes Ltd, owners and operators of the park, sets out the alleged benefits of the scheme.

It says that increasing the number of holiday static caravans will strengthen the business, allowing it to take advantage of increased demand for domestic holidays and making it more robust in the face of the economic downturn, as well as increasing the impact on the local economy through greater visitor spend.

It adds that a couple of full-time jobs would be created on site, would generate a net increase of more than 7,711 visitors from outside the area and additional direct visitor expenditure in the local economy of more than £1.3 million.

The scheme has received a number of objections, including some from neighbours, with concerns including increased traffic. The Environment Agency has also objected.