Park chiefs to keep out ‘blot on the landscape’ static caravans

NATIONAL Park bosses yesterday said they planned to spend £650,000 of public money to buy a campsite – to ensure its operators could not use it to site static caravans and “harm the landscape”.

The Peak District National Park Authority said it had decided to act after being approached by villagers in Foolow in the Hope Valley, who were concerned over plans for “park style” homes.

Officers said the owners of the Brosterfield site, on the edge of the village, were given planning permission for caravans in 1998, but is was intended that only tourers were allowed.

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However, the company behind the site, Tingdene Parks, announced last year that static caravans would be introduced, and won a planning appeal last August after Peak Park bosses tried to block the plan.

Tony Favell, the chairman of the Peak Park Authority, said once the sale had been finalised, the right to put park homes on the site would be removed and only touring caravans allowed.

He added: “We shared the concerns of local people that the planned move to change the caravan site from one for touring caravans to a site housing static park style homes would have had a huge impact on the landscape dominating views of the area over some distance.

“We always maintained the site only had permission for touring caravans but when the Planning Inspector disagreed with that interpretation of the planning permission we needed to act to protect the site.

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“I want residents and visitors to the area to know that this move ensures that park homes or other static caravans will not be allowed on the site.

“The price was agreed using advice from the District Valuer and we will seek to recoup as much of that back as possible from selling the site on as a touring caravan site.”

Chris Taylor, the chairman of Foolow Parish Meeting which pushed for action from the National Park Authority, said: “I would wish to congratulate the Peak District National Park Authority for bringing this case to a satisfactory conclusion and also for their close cooperation throughout all the proceedings.”

Nobody from Northamptonshire-based Tingdene Parks, which owns sites across the country, was available to comment.