Residents vow to take battle over land at North Denes to High Court
- Credit: Archant
'If it has to go to the High Court, then it will' – that is the defiant message from residents as they challenge a decision to lease an area of open space for a caravan park extension.
Fencing was put around two areas of land adjacent to the existing Tingdene static caravan park at North Denes in Lowestoft earlier this year.
The land was leased to the company by Waveney District Council, with fences bearing signs which read: 'Investing in the future, new developments coming soon.'
Earlier this year, council leader Colin Law said the authority needed to 'explore all options to raise much-needed funds' because of the 'huge financial challenge' facing local government.
However residents have now lodged an official objection under the Land Registration Act 2002 with the Land Registry. As a result, Tingdene must decide by Tuesday, August 30 whether to proceed with its application. If it does, it means the case could go to a tribunal or, ultimately, be decided in court.
Dorothy Smith, chairman of the Protect Our North Denes Association (PONDA), said: 'The issue behind this is that people want their land back. Tingdene have been given a lease on a historic site.
'The public has enjoyed recreation down there for years and this is about safeguarding it for future generations. We're already short of play areas and open space.'
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Mr Law said earlier this year that the caravan park had 'provided a new tourism offering to the previously neglected north end of town' which had 'helped bring much-needed revenue to local businesses'.
He also said: 'There is absolutely no question of further land being leased to Tingdene beyond these two additional areas.'However Mrs Smith said many residents did not believe those assurances and that they are worried about further development in future years.
'The strength of feeling was proved when all those people turned out at the North Denes to show how they felt about it,' she said. 'It's a treasure and we don't want to lose it.'
Tingdene did not respond to a request to comment.
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