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Crowland's Bridge Inn Caravan Park wants to create Gypsy/Travellers' plots




A Crowland caravan park owner has put in plans to create five Gypsy/Travellers' plots at the site.

James O'Connor, who owns Bridge Inn Caravan Park, off Common Drove, wants permission for part of the site to be occupied permanently throughout the year.

Under current planning conditions, originally granted by South Holland District Council in June 2000, up to 15 static and 15 touring caravans can have limited use of the site throughout the year.

Bridge Inn Caravan Park, Crowland, whose owner has applied for permission to create five plots for use as Gypsy/Travellers' pitches.Photo: SG-310818-003TW.
Bridge Inn Caravan Park, Crowland, whose owner has applied for permission to create five plots for use as Gypsy/Travellers' pitches.Photo: SG-310818-003TW.

But Mr O'Connor wants a condition to be changed which stops static caravans from being occupied in January and the first two weeks of February.

A statement on behalf of Mr O'Connor said: "The application site has been an established caravan park for a number of years and, as such, it is evident that the siting of mobile homes is acceptable.

"The proposed permanent siting of the mobile homes would not result in any undue harm to the countryside, nor place any undue pressure on local infrastructure or highway safety."

An appeal by the owner of Bridge Inn Caravan Park, Crowland, to allow for 'permanent residential use' of 17 static caravans was lost in August 2018.Photo by Tim Wilson.
An appeal by the owner of Bridge Inn Caravan Park, Crowland, to allow for 'permanent residential use' of 17 static caravans was lost in August 2018.Photo by Tim Wilson.

Mr O'Connor is relying on the new South East Lincolnshire Local Plan, a guide to future development in South Holland, which allows for "additional needs" of the Gypsy/Travellers' community to be met through the use of "other, unallocated sites" not identified in the Plan.

The statement said: "A number of the proposed occupants are in dire personal need of accommodation.

"As such, it is considered that the proposed variation to allow for the permanent use of five plots is a suitable development."

Crowland Parish Council has objected to Mr O'Connor's plans due to the caravan park lying nearly a mile outside the town centre and caravan residents having to use an "unlit, tree-lined" road in Common Drove to get to its shops.

Coun Cathi Elphee, planning committee chairman, said: "The parish council considered the application very carefully and felt that nothing had changed since the previous application was refused.

"Concerns were again raised about the location and the fact that the site is nearly one mile outside the centre of Crowland, with the access route being an unlit road with no footpath and subject to the national speed limit."

The Parish Council therefore oppose the removal/variation of condition 6 of the original planning permission.

. Bridge Inn Caravan Park's bid to have Gypsy/Travellers' pitches comes 16 months after an attempt to open it up throughout the year failed.

A planning application that would have allowed 24 static caravans, plus one more for the site manager, to be permanently occupied throughout the year was rejected by South Holland District Council in April 2017.

In its decision, the council said the site was "unsuitable for residential use" as caravan occupants would be 0.9 miles from Crowland town centre, having to use the 60mph-limit B1166 Common Drove to reach it.

The council also considered the caravan park to be in an area at high risk of flooding.

But Mr O'Connor then took his case to the Planning Inspectorate, a government body that considers appeals against planning refusals, having reduced the number of static caravans planned from 24 to 17.

In a decision published in August 2018, the appeal was dismissed on the grounds that "the site is in a zone with the highest probability of flooding, ignoring the presence of defences" and so "residential development should not be allowed".


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