Villagers object to plans for new arrivals lodge at Thornwick Bay holiday village on Flamborough Head

Villagers are objecting to plans for a new arrivals lodge at a popular holiday park on Flamborough Head, claiming it is another attempt to encroach onto the Heritage Coast.

A beach on Flamborough Head at high tide Picture: James Hardisty

The owners of Thornwick Bay holiday village have submitted plans for the “visually discreet” structure, next to a caravan sales area.

Agents for Haven say the siting of the proposed lodge “has been chosen on the basis of its suitability to manage arrivals in a safe and efficient manner – making use of the existing holding lane”.

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However Flamborough Residents Association and a dozen other people have written to East Riding Council to object.

The site of the proposed arrivals lodge at Thornwick Bay holiday village

The association claims Haven “has been trying to develop to the east” ever since developing a masterplan, which revealed future plans for an entertainment complex.

It says planning committee members removed plans for seven static caravans to the east of the current site, before approving the masterplan.

The group added: “Since then a yurt was constructed and had to be removed, a climbing wall was applied for and then the application withdrawn and a ranger hut constructed then refused when permission was retrospectively applied for.”

Haven went to appeal over the ranger station, but the decision was upheld by a Government inspector, who ruled it would cause “significant harm” to the character and appearance of the area.

The station, which the association says is only a couple of hundred yards from the proposed arrivals hut, had to be pulled down.

The group said there is a “drip, drip approach to trying to expand east onto the Heritage Coast”.

Resident Andrew Bardon said: "The residents association was set up to protect and conserve the heritage coast.

"We felt we were getting to a tipping point and we didn't want it to go any further.

"We think every square foot is valuable and we don't want to see it lost under development."

However agents for Haven insist the single-storey lodge’s proposed location is “fundamentally different” from the ranger station as it falls within the existing built-up area, and there is a fishing lodge further to the east.

Some objectors have suggested they use the existing security hut, but the agents say that would be “impractical and unviable”.

They say they trialled using it last summer but that led to congestion, because towing caravans and other vehicles had nowhere to park.

The parish council has no objections, not does the council's highways department.

Heritage Coasts were established to conserve the best stretches of undeveloped coast in England.

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

Bourne Leisure, the parent company of Haven, Butlin’s and Warner Leisure Hotels, bought the park in 2015 and has invested £12.5m over the past three years. It consists of 1,150 static caravans and 250 touring pitches.

In a statement Haven said: "In 2020 we introduced a new contactless arrivals system to ensure our guests can access their accommodation as quickly and as safely as possible.

"The proposed arrivals lodge supports this system to further safeguard the wellbeing of the park and our guests, as well as improving the overall customer experience.

"The original proposal would not have impacted the public right of way to the park nor materially change the impact of the holiday park.

"However, we have considered the issues raised and have made amendments to our proposal which we believe will allay any local concerns.”