Caravan park plan appeal over passing places on access road

The refusal to drop a requirement for passing places along the route to a north Northumberland holiday park has sparked an appeal.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 3:09 am
Acton Caravan Park, near Felton. Picture by Ben O’Connell

It follows county councillors insisting they must be installed on the narrow road leading to Acton Caravan Park, near Felton, when they rejected a bid to scrap them last year.

In May 2018, a scheme to upgrade the site was approved by the North Northumberland Local Area Council.

Members had deferred the decision the month before to go on a site visit before agreeing to the application for three touring van pitches, three glamping pod pitches, two camping pitches, a treehouse and a lodge.

Acton Caravan Park, near Felton. Picture by Ben O’Connell

It had prompted 25 letters of complaint (as well as eight letters of support), with the objections chiefly based on highways safety, namely the ‘inadequate’ access road, which is narrow, has ‘dangerous blind corners’ and sections which often flood.

But the council’s highways department was satisfied, subject to conditions, which included putting passing places along the U3041.

These improvements remained a key element when an amended proposal – for five camping pods, two cabins, a lodge and a treehouse – was unanimously approved by the committee in February last year, although councillors noted that the removal of touring caravans would improve the situation.

However, a month later, the applicant sought to remove the passing-places requirement, claiming that it fails to meet the tests for conditions set out in national planning law.

The council’s planning officer agreed, recommending that the variation should be approved and the condition removed from the permission.

However, the committee members did not share the same view and unanimously refused this bid last August.

The final call will now rest with a Government-appointed planning inspector after the appeal was submitted in December.