March 12 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 24, 2014
Crumbling cliffs are forcing a Happisburgh caravan site to flee inland to safer ground — but there is local opposition to the new site.
Owner of Manor Caravan Park, Chris Lomax, 52, said at the current rate of coastal erosion it would only be about 10 to 15 years before the family business was literally washed into the sea.
“We will be dead and buried if we are not able to move,” he said.
And with holidaymakers staying in the park in the warmer months, Mr Lomax, whose family has owned the park for more than 45 years, said the business is the village’s financial driver and helps keep facilities open.
He said it was important the park stayed within walking distance of the village and the beach.
He said: “Once people have to get into the car to drive to a shop they will go beyond the village.
“The new site would show everyone Happisburgh is open for business.”
Mr Lomax has applied to North Norfolk District Council for full planning permission for a site of 15 acres (eight hectares) on farm land south of North Walsham Road behind Happisburgh Primary School.
It will provide space for 134 static caravans, 60 touring caravans and a camping area with warden accommodation and an amenity building.
But with the new site in close proximity to the school, there have been complaints.
Amanda Sands, governor at Happisburgh School, said they would be objecting to the plans.
She said: “The school is not happy with the situation from a health and safeguarding view.
“I can’t think of anywhere else in Norfolk where there is a beautiful school and a caravan site next to it.With respect you are going to have people on this caravan park with their pets — we have all had these holidays and that is what you do.”
Mr Lomax said he had chosen the new spot, abutting the Conservation Area and next to the school, in consultation with officers from NNDC’s Pathfinder project which seeks to help communities adjust to coastal erosion.