Fears over wildlife impact of 'five-star' holiday park as deadline looms
- Credit: Archant
Campaigners fighting plans for a “five-star” holiday resort from the founder of Alton Towers say the proposal will “threaten the homes” of the region’s wildlife – including an otter named Olly.
Theme park founder John Broome is behind a major scheme to add more than 100 new holiday units to Haveringland Hall Country Park, including tipis, treehouses and log cabins.
But the scheme has attracted fierce objection from neighbours, with a campaign, ‘Line in the Sand’ launched to unite the various objectors.
And with the deadline looming for comments to be submitted Broadland Council, the group is urging people to make their voices heard.
They say the scheme will “threaten the homes” of the wildlife on the site, which featured two years ago on BBC Winterwatch and is the home of a family of swans and otters - among many other species.
Nigel Boldero, Line in the Sand organiser and chairman of Haveringland Parish Meeting, said: “This site has grown over the years as a retirement park with some holiday units and the wildlife is just about able to cope with the current level of human activity.
“Any further development will tip the balance forever, so its tranquil, nature-rich environment would be destroyed. The new development would fast become a touring base, with all that brings in terms of traffic and very little benefit to the local economy.”
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The group is supported by Tim O'Riordan, a professor in geography from the University of East Anglia.
He said: “We should be saving this nature-rich park from any further alteration and indeed creating a haven for its inhabitants, whether human, animal, bird, fish or reptile.
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“It has open, green spaces linked to the wider natural environment, with a range of trees and plans, an ancient wood, forests, lakes and country walks.”
Environmental watchdog Natural England has not objected to the proposals, but has suggested a raft of conditions that would need to be imposed should the plans get the go-ahead.
These include the requirement to design lighting to encourage wildlife, use swift or bat boxes and creation of a pond.
An ecological appraisal submitted with the application before it was scaled back states that while the plans would result in the loss of ancient woodland and habitat, that this would be mitigated.
The deadline for comments, which can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org is midnight on Wednesday, June 30.