Controversial plan to build holiday park in flood-hit North Yorkshire hamlet recommended for approval

A controversial plan to build a holiday park in a hamlet, which residents believe will exacerbate flooding and raw sewage issues already causing misery, has been recommended for approval by planners.

The land could be turned into a holiday park with more than 30 caravans on site

Richmondshire District Council’s planning committee will next week hear a scheme classed as “major development” to site 38 static caravans across one hectare of land previously used for horticulture at Dalton Gates, near Croft on Tees, includes land highlighted by the local flood authority as known to experience surface water flooding.

In addition, during consultations, the issue of flooding at neighbouring properties and drainage on the site was consistently raised as a concern by residents.

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A council meeting in March heard the authority’s leader Councillor Angie Dale state raw sewage and flooding issues needed tackling whether or not the plan, which would mean up to 150 holiday-makers at the site any one time, went ahead.

At the time, resident Nicola Preston said Dalton Gates had flooded seven times in eight months. She said: ““Given this is 2020, we live in a developed country and the floodwater is contaminated with raw sewage, it’s totally unacceptable. Raw sewage can kill. It shows a total failure of the infrastructure within Dalton Gates.”

The planning committee will be told since the meeting applicants Ward Leisure had acknowledged Dalton Gates experiences flooding, but that such events are likely to continue irrespective of the proposed development unless works are undertaken by the Environment Agency, the local flood authority, Yorkshire Water or Northumbrian Water.

Planning officers said it was not Ward Leisure’s responsibility to address existing issues and that updated plans proposed allowing the site to drain into an additional drainage ditch, which would be cleared and graded to make it efficient.

They said the scheme would also ensure a run-off rate no greater than the current field and not be harmful to the character and appearance of the area, while the applicants said the scheme would bring a redundant site back into beneficial use.

In a report to the committee, planning officers concluded: “The proposals represent a low impact holiday accommodation development in a sustainable semi-rural location that is appropriate for such a use.”