Future of campsite hangs in the balance as plans delayed

PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 November 2017

The Sayer family. Picture: Petruth Paddocks/Heidi Burton

The Sayer family. Picture: Petruth Paddocks/Heidi Burton

Copyrighted to Petruth Paddocks - no use without permission of the copyright holder

The future of a popular campsite in the heart of Cheddar could be at risk after Sedgemoor District Council refused to grant planning permission.

Petruth Paddocks has been running for more than 15 years and has welcomed more than 18,000 visitors to the village this year.

The family-run business has also scooped up a number of TripAdvisor awards for its popularity.

But the future of the business is now under threat after the owners were refused retrospective planning permission to expand the park.

Improvements included more plots for camping, new shower facilities and toilet blocks.

But the council refused the application, raising concerns about the land’s flood risks.

The family is now battling with the council and the Environment Agency (EA) who are seeking to close the site due to the perceived flood risk.

A planning inspector’s decision was due on the owners’ appeal at the end of October but the family opted to postpone the inquiry until 2018.

Owner Jules Sayer said: “In the meantime we are using the very best consultants and lawyers and working with the planning department to resolve the situation without having to go to public inquiry.

“It really boils down to whether we can reach a point with the EA where both sides agree that computer modelling has served its purpose in indicating likely outcomes of a flash flood and that any re-classification of our land incorporates a pragmatic, common sense approach to the situation.

“If we fail to reach agreement, we are all set to go to public inquiry and entrust our
future to a planning inspector in the hope they will recognise just how absurd this whole affair
has been and judge in our favour.”

A petition set up by the business has been put together to save the campsite – which brings more than £1.1million into the local economy.

The online petition has reached almost 2,500 signatures and the offline petition has now reached more than 2,000 signatures.

If you would like to support the family’s appeal to the planning inspector, click here.

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