Kessingland holiday chalets bid is rejected

Kessingland. Picture: MIKE PAGE

Kessingland. Picture: MIKE PAGE - Credit: Mike Page

A bid for holiday chalets in one of the country's most popular tourist destinations to be used all-year round has been rejected after villagers argued it could drain the area's tourism economy.

The owners of Ocean View Holiday Homes applied for the usual condition that its 14 chalets at its site in Coastguard Lane, Kessingland only be occupied during April and October each year should not apply.

It argued that its current business model was unviable due to the chalets' low occupancy rate.

Waveney District Council refused the bid when it came before its planning committee on the basis that: 'There would be a harmful impact on the local economy and highway safety without it.'

The owners appealed against the decision.

But planning inspector Graham Chamberlain has now thrown out the proposal for good, saying: 'Whilst the occupancy levels demonstrate the business is in trouble, they do not demonstrate that the business is inherently unviable.'

He said there was 'significant scope to improve the marketing of the site' and that: 'I therefore conclude that its loss would harm the local tourism economy.'

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Tim Hubbard, from Ocean View Holiday Homes, said he had no comment to make about the ruling other than that he accepts the inspector's final decision.

Kessingland Parish Council chairman Liam Martin said the change would have had a 'detrimental effect on the local economy' and added: 'Tourism is the lifeblood of the community.

'If you start taking out places where people can stay for the sake of converting it into housing, it has an impact. It would've created a dangerous precedent, not just in Kessingland but elsewhere.'