Puxton Park holiday lodge plans rejected

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 July 2015 | UPDATED: 14:41 20 July 2015

Alistair Mead outside of Puxton Park.

Alistair Mead outside of Puxton Park.

Archant

TOURIST attraction bosses have slammed a decision by North Somerset Council to reject its plans to add 120 holiday lodges to its complex.

Hewish-based Puxton Park wants to build the lodges on 7.8 hectares of farm land on Cowslip Lane.

The park says it wants to build the wooden cabins to provide overnight accommodation for its guests.

The application was originally submitted in October last year but the council’s planning committee deferred the scheme in April amid concerns over the appearance of the lodges. In June, the proposals were put to North Somerset’s planning committee again, but were turned down.

Now the proposal has been refused on the grounds that its size and character would have an unacceptable impact on the area’s rural character and would make it difficult to resist further development.

Council leader Nigel Ashton raised the issue, making reference to a recent Government announcement which stated an intention to ease the process of constructing residential buildings on previously developed sites.

Opinions were said to differ as to whether this would apply to a holiday lodge site.

Puxton Park has strongly refuted suggestions that the site could be used to situate residential buildings in the future.

The council’s planning officers had recommended that the plans be approved.

Amanda Sutherland, the park’s planning consultant, said she believed all parties were on board with the scheme and denied the holiday park would be used for housing.

She said: “This is simply not the case and caused confusion among councillors and I believe ultimately saw the scheme refused.

“North Somerset Council keeps making the wrong decisions and is paying out costs on appeal, an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money.”

Puxton Park is appealing the decision, which, if found in its favour, could make the council liable for its costs, which stand between £30-40,000.

Mrs Sutherland went on to say that the park was considering making a complaint about the handling of the decision.

She added: “Puxton is a fantastic local tourist attraction and there is no reason why the holiday park should not be permitted to help boost tourism and employment opportunity in the region.”

The development had received 80 letters of support which heralded increased revenue and tourism, a good design and the creation of 20 new jobs.

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