Scoutscroft Caravan Park in Coldingham given go-ahead to remain open all year
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Scoutscroft Caravan Park in Coldingham contains 152 pitches which are allocated or occupied by a mixture of privately owned caravans/lodges, short term lets and glamping chalets.
Verdant Leisure, the operators of the park, had submitted a planning bid to Scottish Borders Council to increase its operation from 11 to 12 months of the year.
At the current time the park is unoccupied for holiday purposes between January 31 and March 1.
In his report approving the application, SBC assistant planning officer Paul Duncan, says: “The existing condition imposes a blanket restriction on occupancy during the month of the February each year.
“Allowing the existing development to remain year-round should provide a minor boost to the local economy during that period in the year and would align with the Scottish Borders tourism strategy’s aim of encouraging year-round tourism.”
In the past, local authorities have resisted allowing holiday parks to remain open 12 months of the year due to concerns that the holiday homes could be used as permanent residences.
However, Verdant Leisure say that approach is no longer “practical or reasonable” and that full calendar year opening “will support the economic sustainability of the park and nearby local businesses in the area which are reliant on the leisure and tourism industry.”
A report submitted on behalf of the applicants, from Edinburgh-based Tertra Tech Planning, says: “By granting consent for this application, it will support the economic sustainability of the leisure park and support the economic viability of surrounding businesses in the coastal area.
“Consent for this application would contribute towards supporting Scotland’s tourism businesses in line with the National Planning Framework policy, which have been hard hit during the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent cost of living crisis; caravans and holiday lodges are popular destinations for any season, not just the traditional holiday season.
“The closure of holiday parks for one month out of the year simply to restrict the caravans being used as sole residences is no longer practical and reasonable, and the local authority’s concerns over the potential for permanent occupation of the holiday lodges is already addressed through site licensing and could if necessary be conditioned. ”