Boost for campaigners as holiday park bid dealt blow by planners
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Campaigners fighting plans to add scores of new holiday lodges to a country park have been handed a major boost, with council officers agreeing it should be turned down.
Alton Towers founder John Broome has submitted plans to Broadland Council for a major overhaul at Haveringland Hall Country Park.
Mr Broome previously said the project would turn the site into a "five-star" facility and place Norfolk on the tourism map. RPS, the agent for the scheme, has not responded to requests for comment.
The controversial proposals have been met with fierce opposition over a wide range of issues and prompted the launch of a campaign - Line in the Sand - which is made up of neighbours, people already living on the site and other community leaders.
And the campaigners have been given a boost ahead of the plans finally going before Broadland Council next week, with officers recommending that the committee gives it the thumbs down.
In his report to the committee, case officer Glen Beaumont wrote: "The site is not sustainably located in transport terms and the local road network is inadequate to cope with the increased vehicular movements that will be generated by the development.
"A significant number of trees that are subject of a tree preservation orders are proposed for removal and there are concerns that introducing accommodation and associated activities into woodland areas will have an adverse impact on the future health and vitality of those areas."
Mr Beaumont did write that the project would carry strong economic benefits, but that these were outweighed by the harm it may cause.
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Nigel Boldero, founder of the Line in the Sand campaign, welcomed the officer's recommendations, which he hoped the committee would follow.
He said: "We are hoping the committee will follow through with the recommendations and will be supporting the council as best we can if they do and there is an appeal.
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"We named the campaign Line in the Sand because that is what we hope this can prove to be - and that any development which does not benefit those already living on and using the site and its ecology should be refused."
Broadland Council's planning committee will decide the application's fate on Wednesday, July 14.