Strong objections lodged over campsite proposals
- Credit: NEIL BATCHFORD/CITIZENSIDE.COM
Villagers and conservation groups have lodged strong objections to proposals for a new camping site on land described as a gateway to an area of outstanding natural beauty.
They claim there is no demand for extra camping facilities and attracting extra people to the area would put more pressure on the protected Deben estuary and also on Waldringfield.
Developers Westwood Park Farm Ltd have put forward proposals for 35 holiday lodges, 20 touring caravan pitches and 10 yurts, as well as an office and an amenity block for campers on land off Ipswich Road, Brightwell.
Waldringfield Parish Council says the agricultural site is not an area designated for tourism development and a similar application for land off Ipswich Road was previously refused on appeal.
The council "strongly objects" and is concerned at the potential impact on the AONB and also wildlife and conservation landscapes designated as SSSI - such as nearby Newbourne Springs - and SPA and Ramsar sites.
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The council said: "The shores and salt marshes of the Deben have already shown a marked deterioration as a result of the recent increased visitor numbers to Waldringfield during the restrictions caused by COVID 19. These areas are recognised as precious, very fragile and easily damaged by increased visitor numbers.
"There is no identifiable need for such a development in this location. There are 11 existing holiday parks within three kilometres of the site, including Low Farm Cottages & Campsite to the east, and the Moon and Sixpence Holiday Park to the north, as well as sites in Newbourne to the south.
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"There is no evidence that these are at full capacity. We therefore consider that the need for tourism in this area has been met and the current proposal is somewhat excessive as there is no evidence for its necessity."
Brightwell Parish Council, which has also objected, says residents are concerned about the plans adding too many visitors to local beauty spots.
Both Waldringfield Wildlife Group and the Deben Estuary Partnership have also objected.
The partnership said: "The future reality is that if the Deben estuary area is overtaken by large caravan sites and static van sites with the attendant increase in traffic, the special qualities of the landscape and environment, seen as so important today, will be degraded and lost."
On behalf of the landowners, Hollins Architects and Surveyors said: "In this case, the proposed development will provide economic, social and environmental benefits fulfilling the three roles of sustainable development.
"Firstly, the proposed development meets the economic role of sustainable development, as the tourist facility will provide additional trade and income for local services and facilities in Brightwell including the public house and farm shops.
"Visitors staying at the site will also help to support services and facilities in other local towns and villages in the area.
"Secondly, the development will provide social benefits by helping to sustain the viability of local services thereby helping to safeguard local jobs.
"The development also fulfils the environmental role of sustainable development in that the site is accessible by public transport. Consequently, guests staying at the site would not be reliant on the private car to access the site or explore the local area."