IHBC’s ‘Heritage from the doorstep’: Green light for 60 caravans near GII* listed Suffolk church due to coastal erosion threats

websiteA Suffolk holiday park has been given the go-ahead to build a large caravan site near a Grade II* (GII*) listed church, as the threat from coastal erosion meant that ‘a number of its static caravans and lodges were [otherwise] at risk of falling into the sea’.

The Lowestoft Journal writes:

Broadland Sands Holiday Park, in Corton near Lowestoft, said a number of its static caravans and lodges were at risk of falling into the sea due to coastal erosion. Its plans to move 38 of its most vulnerable properties and build an additional 22 static caravans were approved before East Suffolk Council’s North Area Planning Committee on Tuesday, June 11.

The new site, which covers around four acres, is just off Church Lane near St Bartholomew’s Church and is much further inland than where the caravans are currently situated. The destruction caused by coastal erosion in the region is well documented. Last year, further up the coast in nearby Hembsy, a number of homes were destroyed after the cliff they were built upon crumbled into the sea. And the plan to move those static caravans which are in the Coastal Erosion Vulnerability Area further inland is part of a wider move to future-proof the holiday park.

Broadland Sand Holiday Park is a key part of Waveney’s tourism industry and according to the planning application contributes around £13m each year to the local economy. The new site is predicted to bring in an additional £350,000 each year. The council’s head of economic development backed the project and said: ‘Tourism is a key driver of economic growth and our primary aims are to increase the volume and the value of tourism to create compelling destinations and to link visitors more to experiences.’

The popular ‘staycation’ destination already covers around 33 acres and is in the process of adding to its facilities. In October an application to build a new swimming pool complex, children’s playground, crazy gold course, climbing wall and archery space, was also approved.

Historic England did raise concerns about the location of the new caravan site ‘due to the erosion of a rural setting which contributes to the significance of the Grade II* church’. While it is acknowledged by planners the development will cause some disruption to the idyllic setting this is said to be far outweighed by the economic benefits.

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