Skegness

Static caravans approved at Addlethorpe holiday site, despite leading councillor’s objections

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Plans for new static caravans at a holiday site in Addlethorpe have been given the go-ahead despite objections from a leading county and district councillor.

The Hobbins family submitted the plans for six lodge caravans at The Laurels holiday cottage, touring caravan and fishing venue on Mill Road in the village near Ingoldmells.

Councillors previously approved 22 touring pitches on the site in December 2016.

However, the developers applied to replace six of the touring pitches with the caravans.

East Lindsey District Council’s Planning Committee approved the change of use at a meeting in Manby on Thursday, April 5.

The plans drew criticisms Addlethorpe Parish Council and from East Lindsey and Lincolnshire county councillor Colin Davie, who urged his colleagues to reject the development.

Councillor Davie, who is responsible for economy and place at the county council, said that the development would not benefit the economy, and accused the developers of increasing their own personal wealth through the project.

However, speaking at the meeting, applicant Sally Hobbins criticised Councillor Davie’s comments, stating that her family had invested over £1 million into the “quality project” and were planning to recruit more staff for the 2018 season.

She said: “The venue has a rural feel and is extremely popular. It’s far enough away to give our customers the feeling that they are at a countryside retreat.

“We have found that we have serious demand for all types of holiday homes and vacations and therefore we would like to offer lodges overlooking the first lake.

“This is not an increase in wealth as Councillor Davie implies, but efforts from a hard-working family to sustain a local business.”

Councillor Terry Aldridge, of the East Lindsey Independent Group, suggested Councillor Davie should come on the planning committee.

He said: “I would like to approve this application. It’s not detrimental to the area.”

Fellow East Lindsey Independent Group member Councillor Jim Swanson said: “I am very disappointed Councillor Davie is not here. The language in here is not becoming. The comment about the applicant already being well remunerated is not the kind of thing I would like to see a councillor say.”

Councillor Sid Dennis, Conservative member for Skegness St Clements, added: “Tourism and generating wealth on the coast is very important. This family business is second to none at what it’s doing and we should support them.”

Following the decision, Councillor Davie said that he could not believe the plans were approved, describing it as a “travesty” for residents.

He said: “Addlethorpe is a small rural village where caravan pitches outnumber residents four to one. For the last few years, East Lindsey District Council has been working on a new local plan which is close to adoption. It has been agreed between the inspector and the council that the area between Ingoldmells and Addlethorpe is to be protected from any further caravan development.

“It is simply ludicrous that at the first opportunity to put this agreed position into practice that officers and members of the council have failed to protect my residents from this application.

“If the council is not prepared to support its own agreed position then it destroys all investor confidence in the local plan and makes a mockery of the formal plan adoption process.

“While it is a travesty for my residents, this decision has huge and very negative impacts for the whole coastal area I spend a large amount of my time trying to encourage investors to take seriously.”

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