The owner of a Flintshire caravan park has launched an appeal after his expansion plans were rejected.
An application was entered last December for an extra three touring caravan pitches, five chalets and a replacement toilet and shower block to be built at the Ridings Caravan and Camping Park in Babell.
However, despite the proposals being recommended for approval by officers from Flintshire Council, permission for the scheme was denied by politicians at a meeting in May.
It followed concerns from residents about the impact on the countryside and the extra traffic it would generate.
Owner Bryan Parry has now taken his case to the Planning Inspectorate in a bid to overturn the decision of the local authority’s planning committee, which was backed by a narrow margin of eight votes to seven.
A planning consultant acting on his behalf said the expansion would provide “high quality” accommodation for visitors.
In an appeal statement, Kerry James said: “It is clear that both national and local planning policy supports tourism developments within the rural area.
“The use of the site for tourism is not new and the proposed development would help to sustain the existing family business by expanding the number and type of self-catering accommodation on offer at the site.
“It is not considered that the development would appear overcrowded as the enlarged site can easily accommodate the additional pitches and the new chalets.
“The proposed works referred to above have been designed to promote and enhance highway safety for users of the caravan site and the adjacent highway network.”
Mr Parry purchased the site in early 2017 and his application was supported by the council’s chief planning officer, who acknowledged the positive economic impact it would have.
But Cllr Chris Dolphin, who represents Whitford, said it would result in a significant increase in the current number of pitches at the site and have a negative impact on a nearby chicken farm.
Speaking at the planning meeting, the Liberal Democrat councillor said: “There’s a good representation here today of the strength of feeling against this application.
“There will be massive conflict between the poultry unit, a long-established poultry unit, and this leisure facility.
“There’s no footways in this area, there’s no public transport and the approval of this application will alienate any green policy or pretence to be green by this council.
“This road, the shortest route to the A541, is not suitable for large caravans or large vehicles and this council is being encouraged to make it more awkward for working residents of the area.
“I urge you to refuse this application.”
The appeal will be decided by an inspector appointed by the Welsh Government at a future date.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).