Plans for 27 holiday homes on golf course set to be approved

Existing holiday homes at Akebar Park.

Planners are recommending an expansion of an existing holiday park gets the go-ahead.

An application to build 27 additional holiday homes at Akebar Park has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council.

The scheme has been recommended for approval by planning officers.

The homes would be built on part of the 18-hole golf course at Akebar, meaning the course would be reduced to nine-holes.

Supporting documents submitted with the application state the business, like others in the hospitality industry, suffered badly due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The documents added: “As the crisis continued it became obvious that longer term measures had to be taken to strengthen the business and ensure that the furloughed staff had jobs to return to after the crisis passed.

“For some time it had been acknowledged that the caravan park side of Akebar Park supported most of the other parts of the business, particularly the 18 hole golf course which is relatively expensive to maintain and operate and
produces only limited revenue.

“After some careful consideration the applicant has made the decision to reduce the golf from an 18-hole to a nine-hole course to reduce costs, support the business and defend the jobs on the site.

“This reduction in size will help reduce the excessive maintenance and overheads involved with an 18-hole course and will help maintain the actual viability of operating a golf course facility on the site.”

However, Constable Burton and Finghall Parish Council has objected to the expansion, raising concerns about an increase risk of flooding and the extra demand on the existing sewage treatment plant.

The authority added: “The number of Lodges proposed together with those already in situ at Akebar Park will at the height of the season be greater than those of a small town and in our opinion would require the installation of a sewage plant.

“The site has now grown out of all proportion in relation to the original planning permission granted as long ago as 1984 for a much smaller site.

“Its impact on the surrounding area in particular the Church of St Andrews which is now going to be overwhelmed by overflow for touring caravans, for which hard-standings have already been put in place is unacceptable.”

Environmental groups have also raised concerns about the loss of a pond as part of the scheme which contains great crested newts and is visited by otters.

Planning officers will recommend the application is approved when councillors meet on January 4.

A report ahead of the meeting concluded: “The proposal would not adversely affect the character and appearance of the area, given the existing capacity of the site and its ability for the local area to absorb the
development.

“The proposal given its limited visibility from public vantage points would not be harmful to the rural landscape.

“The proposal would result in a compensatory payment to mitigate the loss of a pond on site.”

For more information on the application click here.

1 Comment

  1. People from the caravan site are seen wandering wherever they like across fields in the area, as they seem to think silage and crop fields are simply free-to-access parkland.
    We have a massive amount of holiday accommodation already surrounding Finghall, from rentals, purpose-built holiday homes, chalets and caravan sites, and now Akebar is going to extend as well?
    Not just a strain on the sewage but also local roads, water, internet and electricity.
    Give permission for this one and then sooner or later, the whole golf course will be gone.
    I’m sure the great-crested newts and otter appreciate the compensation being paid (to whom?) for loss of their habitat. What will happen to the newts, in particular?
    We could rename the area Butlins?

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