Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Long Ashes Caravan Park plan 'could ruin meadow'
8:36am Friday 27th July 2012 in News
A Threshfield man is angry that long-established hayfields could be lost if a plan to extend Long Ashes Caravan Park is approved.
Windermere-based Lakeland Leisure Ltd has resubmitted a planning application seeking permission to redevelop and extend its holiday park by siting 49 static caravans, introducing 64 touring pitches and 22 camping pods, in addition to erecting a new toilet block, reception area and manager’s accommodation.
A similar application was refused by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority in December 2011. One of the reasons given was that the proposal would have had significant and harmful impact on the character and appearance of the surrounding landscape.
Long Ashes currently has 129 residential caravans, 129 static holiday caravans and 19 log cabins.
Sixty-five-year-old John Pickles, who has lived next to the Threshfield caravan park all his life, said: “Long Ashes started in the 1950s with just eight or nine caravans. They gradually have been spreading out and now it’s one of the Dales’ bigger villages. It’s massive.
“But now they want to sprawl out into the hayfields. I think enough’s enough.
“The fields will be totally destroyed. We’ll have to wait until the next Ice Age comes and wipes the slate clean before they can be re-established again. You can’t restore wildflowers in five minutes.
“I’d like people to remember these fields being wonderful hay-meadows. They should be kept for future generations.
“I like the Dales and I’d hate to see it destroyed. It breaks my heart to see this happening.”
Mr Pickles said the application was essentially the same as that refused last year.
However, Lakeland’s agent, GVA Hotels and Leisure, believe that the resubmitted application addresses the previous reasons for refusal.
In the plan, they write: “The resubmitted application is accompanied by a more detailed flood risk and drainage report to address the concerns over drainage.
“A more detailed ecological impact assessment has been prepared including an ecological management plan to enable proper assessment of the potential environmental losses and gains arising from the proposal.”
They also state: “The proposals represent a significant economic benefit to the local economy through increased visitor spend and job creation.”
Mr Pickles said people opposed to the plans needed to make their objections known before the consultation period ended on Tuesday.
“If people love the Dales, they should show they are upset,” he said.