Residents and organizations from the countryside are protesting the proposed extension of a North Pennine caravan park, a report said.
Joe Daly, co-owner of Cragside Caravan Park Eastgate in Upper Weardale has applied to Durham County Council to allow the creation of ten touring caravan pitches and landscaping.
The extension would extend north from the existing park which currently has 67 caravans or five chalets. It follows the line of Rookhope Burn.
GA Associates, representing the applicant, stated that the company has experienced a surge in inquiries for touring pitches and has the opportunity to market itself to potential clients who might not have thought of a rural vacation.
According to the report, allowing caravans to be allowed on the site would increase the local tourism industry by increasing time and money spent in the area. This is a priority both for Durham and neighboring Cumbria.
It is described as a “modest extension” that is seasonal and “wouldn’t be extensively visible”.
The proposal, which comes after a request for 19 new chalets that was denied consent in July last year, has met with strong opposition.
Richard Cowen, acting chairman of CPRE Durham countryside charity, stated: “While there are fewer units and the type of accommodation has changed, this application raises the same principles from a landscape perspective.”
“The proposed development could adversely impact the scenic beauty of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well as the appearance and character of the surrounding countryside.”
“We are also concerned by a net loss in biodiversity. However, there is not enough information to show that the proposed development would have no adverse effects on protected species.”
The North Pennines AONB Partnership opposes the plan.
Upper Weardale residents also objected to over-provisioning holiday and caravan sites in the area, as well as “hazardous” vehicular accessibility down a narrow windy road.
They claim that with only 24 homes in Eastgate, and 200 chalets or caravans in the surrounding area, they are already eight to one outnumbered.
The council is expected to make a decision this month.