An application to open a ‘timber lodge holiday park’ at the entrance to a treasured forest has drawn dozens of angry objections, including one from the constituency MP.
The proposed greenfield site is directly opposite the mid-eighteenth century Grade II listed Top Lodge house and historic farm buildings at Fineshade Wood in East Northamptonshire.
The application from Nottingham-based Countrywide Park Homes, an operator of residential park homes across the country, claims that there will be ‘no significant harm’ to the vale of the landscape.
But local people and community organisations, led by the Friends of Fineshade, have rallied to raise multiple objections.
They include objections on the grounds of sustainability, inadequate water supply, access and the adverse effects on local residents.
MP Tom Pursglove says that he has been contacted by a ‘significant number’ of constituents about the plans.
His letter to planners states: “I strongly object to this application on a number of grounds.
“First, the application documents are incomplete and contradictory.
“There is a severe lack of detail on the footprint of the lodges as well as the impact on local residents.
“Furthermore, the application provides no evidence that it will be used as a holiday park for tourists, and thus the space could be operated instead as a residential park.
“Fineshade Wood is a site of great natural beauty and brings huge pleasure and opportunity to local residents in a great number of ways.
“It is unthinkable that, having so recently fought of Forest Holidays’ intention to develop the site,that another destructive application should blight Fineshade in the same way.”
The Northamptonshire Campaign to Protect Rural England says that it has a ‘strong’ objection to the plans, adding: “We consider the style and character of these caravans totally unsuitable for this location.
“We consider that a development such as this on this site would do great damage to a favourite rural location which is valuable in its peace and free access for riding and cycling.”
An objection from a resident says: “This ‘holiday park’ would be the ugly eyesore greeting 100,000 annual visitors.
“At present the ‘gateway to the woods’ is a peaceful scene... Any development on the field would ruin a lovely place and destroy the powerful message conveyed to our visitors that this is a beautiful spot to be enjoyed by all.”
Another objection states: “Fineshade is one of the jewels in Northamptonshire.
“I am absolutely horrified to think if it being spoilt by this cheap, ugly and exploitative venture.”
Other objectors say that the biodiversity of the site should be a consideration, with one naturalist recording 2,187 species in the area.
Local residents spent three years between 2015 and 2018 fighting proposals by Forest Holidays to open a holiday park within the woodland itself. Those plans were finally ditched at the end of last year.
You can view and comment on the plans here
Read more at: https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/news/caravan-park-plan-for-fineshade-wood-beauty-spot-1-8811512