Plans for campsite accommodation in Gressenhall recommended for refusal despite 110 letters of support

An application for a camping area on a large field in Gressenhall has been refused. Picture: Ian Bur

An application for a camping area on a large field in Gressenhall has been refused. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Controversial plans for a new campsite in Gressenhall have been recommended for refusal by the Breckland Council planning officer, despite over 100 letters being submitted in support of the development.

The proposals would see a tourist accommodation camping area including disabled camping pods, shower and toilet facilities, shepherd huts and a two-storey warden's house built on an agricultural field in Gressenhall, known as Church Farm.

Arguments submitted in the 110 responses of support for the development include increasing rural tourism, catering for needs which are not available elsewhere in the area, job creation and the fact that the site is within walking distance of Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

The proposals have divided opinion, however, with 67 responses objecting to the campsite due to concerns over its location, noise, access and the proposed benefits put forward by the planner.

Gressenhall Parish Council is also concerned about the proposals, citing access and road surface issues, as well as the scale of the development, as reasons for their lack of support.

Plans for a single dwelling and double garage on the site were previously refused due to concerns over the impact on the countryside.

The plans have been put forward by a Mrs Wilcox with the agent Holt Architectural.

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Case officer Fiona Hunter said in the report that 'it is agreed that Breckland would benefit from more quality holiday accommodation' however because 'the applicant does not own any adjacent or nearby rural land or business, it therefore does not meet the particular criteria.'

The report also states how 'it is not agreed that a dwelling is necessary to support a campsite with 20 pitches' and that 'the benefits of the proposal are not considered to outweigh the significant harm which would be caused by way of intrusion into the countryside.'

Despite the 110 letters of public support, councillors have been recommended to refuse planning permission on this basis, as well as the fact that the site is outside of the settlement boundary.

The house for the warden is also deemed not necessary to support the campsite.

The plans will be voted on by councillors at Breckland Council's planning committee meeting on Monday October 1.