Salcombe Regis caravan park plans approved on appeal
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Plans to convert an existing building into permanent warden accommodation at a Salcombe Regis holiday park have been granted on appeal.
Kings Down Tail Caravan and Camping Park owner David Paget now also has permission to continue storing touring caravans and to erect an open-sided shelter.
He took his case to the Planning Inspectorate after East Devon District Council (EDDC) failed to reach a decision within the allotted time.
Finding in Mr Paget’s favour, inspector Andy Harwood said: “The council confirmed that had it reached a decision, the continued use of the south east field for storage of touring caravans and the erection of open-sided shelter in that field would have been considered acceptable. I can see no reason to question that assessment.
“The main issue is therefore whether there are circumstances that would justify the conversion of the ancillary building to permanent site warden’s two-bed residential accommodation in this rural location.”
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The plans include re-roofing the ancillary building, which is not required for agricultural purposes, and replacing the corrugated sheeting with slate-effect tiles. Mr Harwood said bringing it into use would help to ensure it remains in good order in the longer term.
His report said the applicant explained there is a ‘substantial’ need for additional on-site management of the large holiday park, as it is not close enough to other housing so an employee could react to business requirements.
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It was approved on the condition its occupation is limited to someone solely or mainly employed by the caravan park.
Mr Paget also applied for costs against EDDC and this was partially allowed.
Mr Harwood said EDDC had been reluctant to issue a split decision – approving the storage and the shelter but refusing the conversion – and this resulted in delays.
He said this constituted ‘unreasonable’ behaviour on the part of EDDC, but the planning officer’s view of the conversion meant an appeal was ‘always likely to be necessary’, so the time was not wasted and a full award of costs was not justified.
But Mr Harwood did order EDDC to pay Mr Paget those costs that could have been avoided if a decision had been reached sooner.