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Lakeside Caravan Park – council says it has "an issue with inadequate surface water drainage"

Lakeside Caravan Park: operator has no licence, inspection finds

An environmental health inspection of a Brightlingsea caravan site has revealed that the operator has no site licence and pitches are too close together.

Tendring District Council –TDC – launched enforcement action against Lakeside Caravan Park in April after discovering that work to install 50 hardstanding pitches was carried out without planning permission. The enforcement action was suspended after the park operator, Michael McCarthy, submitted retrospective planning permission in May.

However, a TDC officer who visited the Promenade Way site has reported that it "is currently not licensed in the name of the applicant, which needs to be addressed". Commenting on the planning application, environmental health team leader Grant Fenton-Jones said: "A site visit has been completed and measurements have been taken between all pitches on the site. Currently, there are numerous pitches which fail to meet the minimum of six metres between each adjoining plot."

Tendring Council's Touring Site Conditions (which can be seen on this page) state: "A space of six metres (all round) between each touring caravan and neighbouring caravans shall be maintained at all times". Last December, a press release issued by the site's leaseholder, Brightlingsea Town Council – BTC– boasted of pitches "laid to gravel with five metres of grass separating each one".

Mr Fenton-Jones added: "There is also an issue with inadequate surface water drainage that is allowing rain water to pond at various locations on the site which needs to be addressed. The applicant is to ensure that they meet the requirements for fire safety on the site and have the correct signage."

The environmental health officer's findings were discussed at a planning committee meeting of BTC last night (July 1) and led to members recommending that the planning application – covering "proposed alterations to road and new hardstanding pitches" – be refused when it comes before TDC.

Town and district councillor Mick Barry said: "Not only do they not have planning permission, they don't have a licence. If the distances don't comply then we can only recommend it for refusal." He added: "As landlords we are entitled to ask for a fully licensed site."

The committee resolved to tell planners: "BTC currently recommends refusal insofar as licensing and planning requirements have not been complied with."

The planning application can be seen on Tendring Council's planning portal. The deadline for comments from members of the public on the application is July 12.



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