Uproar over caravan park expansion close to historic Flamborough Head lighthouses

The two lighthouses on Flamborough Head Picture: Paul Atkinson PA Press & PR
The two lighthouses on Flamborough Head Picture: Paul Atkinson PA Press & PR
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Nearly 400 people are objecting to “highly visible and intrusive” plans to site another 300 caravans close to the lighthouses at a Yorkshire beautyspot.

Flamborough Head, one of 32 Heritage Coasts in England, is best known for its towering 300ft chalk cliffs and huge seabird colony.

The Old Lighthouse on Flamborough Head Picture: Simon Hulme

The Old Lighthouse on Flamborough Head Picture: Simon Hulme

Two lighthouses also form part of Flamborough’s picturesque offering.

The first, which is Grade II* listed, was built in 1674 but is believed to never have been lit.

The second dates back to 1806 and is still active - marking Flamborough Head for vessels heading for the Humber, Scarborough and Bridlington.

Objectors say the headland has reached a tipping point because of the number of caravan pitches damaging the beauty of the unspoilt coastline and is in danger of becoming “Flam-Vegas”.

Flower of May wants to eventually double the number of caravans at the Lighthouse Holiday Park, from 278 to 594, just down the road from the Old Lighthouse.

As part of the proposals they will create a nature reserve to the north-east of the site on 15.87 hectares of land, which is currently in agricultural and grazing use.

They claim the scheme will create 19 extra jobs on the site and more than 150 others in the tourism sector and wider economy.

However Government planning policy was amended last year to advise that “major development in the Heritage Coast is unlikely to be acceptable unless it is compatible with its special character”.

Heritage Coasts represent stretches of the country’s most beautiful, undeveloped coastline, and in the region also include Spurn Point and areas within the North York Moors National Park.

As well as the 375 people who have written to East Riding Council, Flamborough parish council, Bridlington Civic Society and the Campaign to Protect Rural England have also objected.

The parish council says the “massive” new development would be “incongruous and inappropriate” with the listed Old Lighthouse and Flamborough Lighthouse nearby.

Concerns has also been expressed about the amount of traffic on busy Lighthouse Road and the village - population 2,200 - being overwhelmed tourism developments.

Andrew Bardon, from Flamborough Residents Association, said: “I think the situation is very fragile.

“We have passed the tipping point, we are going over the edge.

“Any further development is unsustainable - there has to be a moratorium.

“The beauty of Flamborough is in the unspoilt open countryside alongside some of the most beautiful cliffs in the world.”

Coastal erosion exposes ancient trees on Yorkshire beach

The incredible Victorian shipwreck which can still be seen at low tide on a Yorkshire beach

Figures from Flamborough Residents Association show that the Heritage Coast contains a quarter of tourist bedspaces in the East Riding (18,493) - eight times more than the village’s population.

Planning officers at East Riding Council are recommending refusal at a meeting at County Hall, Beverley next Thursday.

They say the development “would be a substantial major development in an area which is valued for its undeveloped coast.

“This is not considered to be not compatible with the special character of the Heritage Coast and merits refusal of the application.”

Some 656 miles of the English coastline and 307 miles of the Welsh coastline - around one-third of their total length, have been defined as Heritage Coast.

Flower of May has been approached for a comment.