Caravan park gets green light

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Latest news.

Proposals for a new caravan park near Arkholme have divided opinion but were ultimately given planning permission this week.

The plans for 30 static caravans at Docker Park Farm received objections from neighbours, with farmers saying the development would have a negative impact on their businesses, and would spoil the peace and tranquility of the area.

But Charles Waddington, vice chairman of Arkholme Parish Council said that visitors were essential to Arkholme’s rural economy, in particular the village pub and Post Office.

He said: “In our view the proposal is well thought out, small in scale and unobtrusive. This proposal will help to sustain and enhance a local business.”

John Tamlin, owner at Docker Park Farm, said he was happy with the outcome at Monday’s Planning Committee meeting at Lancaster Town Hall.

He said after the meeting: “They just didn’t want caravans.I was happy with the way that Labour and Independent councillors acted, particularly Paul Woodruff’s comments which I thought were bob on.

“There have been an awful lot of unpleasant shenanigans.

“They wanted the countryside locked up, but it can’t be.”

Mr Tamlin said that Docker Park Farm would no longer function in its current format.

Mark Southerton, on behalf of Docker Park Farm said: “We’re looking at an alternative re-use of the site, which will reduce overall activity, and stop coaches altogether.”

Objector Edwina Collinson, who lives in Keer Holme Lane, said: “I love the peace and tranquility of the area. This development should not go ahead.”

While Steven Harrison, from Brookside Farm, Docker, said: “Our farmland surrounds the site on three sides and it will have a negative impact on our business.

“Keer Valley is no place for a caravan site.”

Councillors voted nine against three in favour of the plans.

Coun Richard Rollins said: “The Keer and Lune Valleys are the jewels in our crown, but we’re beginning to move further away into the countryside and I’m concerned about what it might start off.”

Mr Tamlin said that work had now started and he hoped to have the first caravan ready for purchase in August.

He added that Broadband For Rural North would be installed on site, and that all of the labouring work would be done by local people.

A council investigation is due to take place into the conduct of at least two members of the planning committee.