Holiday park plans recommended for approval

A proposal to create a holiday park on former horticultural land should be approved as it will not pose an unacceptable road safety risk, it has been claimed.

Family-owned firm Ward Leisure, which runs several holiday parks in northern England and Scotland, has applied to Richmondshire District Council to launch a 38-caravan site near Croft Circuit, south of Darlington.

It is understood the site would be aimed at families, as planning agents for the firm said it would feature a children’s play area at its heart and visitors to the site would help make businesses such as pubs and shops in nearby villages viable.

They added the venture would “not have any significant adverse impacts upon the surrounding area in terms of visual, landscape, surface water flooding, traffic and parking and other amenity, environmental or ecological considerations”.

However, the scheme has raised concerns among a number of local residents and three parish councils, who believe the site is unsuitable for holiday-makers.

Dalton on Tees Parish Council said as the proposed holiday park entrance was extremely close to a very sharp bend it would create a road safety hazard and the increase in traffic on such a small road which is used for commuting to Darlington may cause issues.

The parish council said: “There are no local amenities within walking distance of the site. There are no footpaths from the site to any of the local villages. It would therefore be extremely dangerous to attempt to walk on the roads surrounding the site.”

While a number of objectors to the proposals questioned the viability of the planned holiday park as it was directly opposite a chicken farm “that omits unpleasant smells”, others said it would add to traffic on narrow lanes and be out of scale with the community and disturb residents of Dalton Gates.

Residents have claimed local utilities would be unable to cope with the additional load and major flooding had previously happened due to the sewage pumping station being overwhelmed.

An officer’s report to district council’s planning committee next week, states North Yorkshire County Council’s road bosses had not objected to the scheme, but had called for a number of measures to improve visibility at the site’s entrance.

The report concludes: “The proposals represent a low impact holiday accommodation development in an sustainable semi-rural location that is appropriate for such a use.

“The development will be well screened from public vantage points and will not be harmful to the character and appearance of the area.

“The proposal will not have a significant or unacceptable impact on the amenities of local and neighbouring residents.

“The proposals will provide for the sustainable disposal of surface water and foul drainage. The proposals will provide suitable parking provision within the site and will not pose a severe or unacceptable risk to highway safety.”