Troubled holiday park told to resolve planning issues or face closure
PUBLISHED: 06:00 31 July 2019
A holiday park facing legal action over guests living on site has been warned it could be shut unless it resolves further issues.
Mid Suffolk District Council (MSDC) told Stonham Barns it must submit better plans about fire hydrants, event management and drainage within months or face further sanctions.
The council's notice warns that failure to do so could result in it being made to cease operations, including events. Equipment could also be removed, it adds.
The park has been given time to resolve the issues - and MSDC says it wants to work with it, only using sanctions as a "last resort".
Park owner Alan Forward said he would submit extra information about fire hydrants, landscaping, drainage and events planning, following discussions with relevant authorities.
The notice comes amid disputes between the park and council after an emergency visit last year found guests, many older and infirm, living on the site all year, contrary to regulations.
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MSDC recently told guests the park will face legal action after talks failed to resolve the problems.
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Meanwhile, the park had been trying to resolve outstanding planning issues relating to lodges and retail pods it had already built, as well as a new play area.
The "hybrid application" was approved last October, pending submissions of "reserved matters" - more detailed plans.
But Stonham Barns' application in April sought to remove several conditions. It said it had "no intention" to install fire hydrants, which "wouldn't work because water pressure on site is so low" and would instead pump water from lakes in an emergency.
MSDC refused the request on grounds of "public safety" giving Stonham Barns six months to provide a scheme on fire hydrants and a timetable for installation. The council also refused Stonham Barns' event management plan, giving it six months to provide another or all events "shall cease and all equipment brought onto the land for the purposes of such uses shall be removed".
A council spokesman said: "We want to work with the applicant to find a satisfactory solution. But if that fails, as a last resort we would be able to remove permission, requiring the cessations of the use of the site for those purposes."
Stonham Aspal Parish said it supported MSDC's efforts to bring Stonham Barns "into line" as it wanted to see a successful site that adheres to planning regulations.