Over 200 people object to plans for new caravan park near Hunmanby Gap on the Yorkshire coast

Residents of one of the most picturesque villages on the Yorkshire coast have submitted over 200 objections to a proposed new caravan park.

Beverley-based developer Wayne Low - who was recently convicted at Hull Crown Court of demolishing a pub in a Conservation Area without permission - has applied to build 65 eco lodges and static caravans with leisure facilities on farmland off Sands Lane in Reighton, close to Hunmanby Gap.

Neighbours of the site for the proposed new park claim that the Filey area is becoming saturated with tourism and is now facing similar issues to Cornwall regarding traffic and overdevelopment.

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The proposed site of the new developmentThe proposed site of the new development
The proposed site of the new development
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Although there are other caravan parks in the village including The Bay, there has so far been no development on the Green Belt land south of Sands Lane on the heritage coastline, which is close to the prospective new Yorkshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Terminally ill alpaca farmer Terry Beaumont and his wife retired to a smallholding beside the site two years ago hoping for peace and quiet, yet now face their property being overlooked by lodges with elevated roof terraces.

"On the north side, there is already The Bay, which has been extended and has over 300 caravans now. The south side is nothing but farmland, and if this scheme is approved it opens up the whole area for development. There will be nothing of the countryside left, just caravans," said Mr Beaumont.

Mr Low has already revised his proposal down from an initial application for 78 units which was withdrawn before a decision could be made by Scarborough Council.

Flooding on the site, which residents say has poor drainageFlooding on the site, which residents say has poor drainage
Flooding on the site, which residents say has poor drainage
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It is believed that a large multinational resort operator intends to take over the management of the site once it is completed. Mr Low has proposed to widen the existing road to improve access and build a new footpath to the beach.

"It is a rural lane, that is part of its charm. It will take away hedgerows and habitat. We have all sorts of species here.

"It will be an horrific blot on green fields that reach all the way to Bempton Cliffs. It's also a flood zone, the drainage is poor and the water forms lakes that often stay there all winter.

"The government keep saying there will be no more building in the Green Belt, and this isn't even homes. It would be easier to swallow if it was affordable housing."

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Echoing the Beaumonts' views is former campsite owner Jonathan Leonard, who retired with his wife to a neigbouring property that backs onto the site.

"There will be a dozen of caravans within 100 metres of us - and it will expand, because that's how these places operate. It's a heritage coastline that is becoming blighted by caravans.

"It will be a big upheaval for people living here. Noise travels in the country, and my concern is that it won't be policed by the new owners."

Independent ward councillor Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff is opposing the planning application, but added that she is aware of the need to balance the interests of residents and those who work in the tourism industry.

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"I am concerned because it is one of the last pieces of land that was there before all the development, the last bit of natural landscape. People living here have a lot of local knowledge about things like drainage and access, so it's important that as many people as possible submit comments.

"That access road is single track and it's already not fit for purpose. It's a worrying application that could cause a lot of problems.

"There has always been tension between residents and the tourism industry here, and the summer can be a strain if you're not working in tourism. But others need it to earn their living - many people living in my ward work at resorts like Primrose Valley. I often find one side is frustrated and the other relies on the visitors, so there needs to be a balanced approach.

"What attracts people here is our countryside, and we need to be careful that we're not destroying the very thing that brings them here. In an ideal world the coastline would be ours in the summer, but a lot of people rely on tourism for their income and their businesses wouldn't survive without them."

A public consultation on the proposal runs until December 9 on Scarborough Council's website.