Hunts golf course campsite plan set for bogey

LAND near Abbotsley Golf and Squash Club is not a suitable location for a camping and touring caravan site, planners say.

They will ask members of Huntingdonshire District Council’s development management panel on Monday to refuse an application by Abbotsley Limited, which owns the hotel and country club, to develop the 2.8-hectare site north of the club house off the 60mph Potton Road in Abbotsley.

The company proposed to provide hardstandings for 55 touring caravan with an informal grassed area for additional touring pitches and a camping area.

The council’s planning policy says camping and caravanning sites should be supported only where they are not environmentally detrimental – close to existing settlements, without visual impact on surrounding landscape, and where safe physical access can be achieved.

In this case, planners say, the site is in the open countryside, not adjacent to any settlement and on a 60mph road with no footpath and no street lighting.

“The site is considered to be unsustainable and no justification has been submitted setting out the need for this type of development, of this scale, in this open countryside location,” they will tell the panel.

“It is unclear how many vehicles would be using the access. On the application form the applicant proposes 61 new car parking spaces: however, 55 hardstands are shown and in addition to those hardstandings there is a grassed camping area and an area marked ‘informal grass caravan pitches’. For that reason, it is unclear the true number of vehicles likely to use the new access.”

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They also say the site is very prominent in the countryside, and landscaping would not mitigate the impact, particularly given the scale of the proposed development.

They conclude: “This scheme, as submitted is unacceptable in principle and will be detrimental to the open character and appearance of the open countryside.

“The applicant has also failed to demonstrate that the proposal will not be detrimental to highway and pedestrian safety. No material considerations have been provided to overcome these concerns.”