Monday, November 17, 2014

News: Holiday park plan for Hooton Lodge


Plans are being finalised for a large scale caravan park on land at Hooton Lodge in Rotherham, previously used as the training ground of Rotherham United Football Club.

Owned by local company, C F Booth Ltd, one of the largest independently run recycling companies in Europe and whose family previously owned the football club, around 20 hectares to the rear of the pub has been used in recent years as a small scale touring park, and for rallies and events such as Dub Odyssey, which attracts 3,000 Volkswagen fans each year.

Plans have now been submitted for 93 touring caravan pitches to add to the current 18 that were given planning permission in 2012. Further plans are being drawn up for an office / reception block and a toilet / amenity block on the site. The owner also proposes improvements to Hooton Lodge Public House to include a large function room and a separate application is to be submitted. It is estimated that the development is valued at £1m.

The land is designated as Green Belt but its previous use as a training ground and current use on a small scale are considered "appropriate development" as they come under outdoor recreation and leisure uses. Plans for park homes and static caravans were discouraged by the council in pre-application discussions.

The application for the low density touring caravan pitches concludes that the overall visual impact of the proposal is "minor to negligible", and that the development would generate minimum levels of traffic with access from Kilnhurst Road. Flooding and drainage issues have also been addressed.

The plans, drawn up by Nuttall Yarwood & Partners, and agents Savills, state that: "The applicant has identified a gap in the market due to the lack of touring caravan sites within the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough area. The applicant is willing to invest heavily to make the site a success.

"One of the key aspects to this application is the economic benefits and monetary spin off to the local area. The resultant off-site spend from holidaymakers into the local economy is a fundamental and material planning benefit that support this planning application.

"The proposed development will create off-site spend into the local economy to support local businesses such as shops, pubs and restaurants in Rotherham and also the wider area. Whilst the applicant will encourage holidaymakers to use Hooton Lodge Public House, holidaymakers will naturally seek to explore the local area.

"We have extensively researched various reports of figures on rural holiday and touring parks such as this, and calculate that the off-site spend into the Rotherham local economy from 111 touring caravans will be in the region of £320,000 per annum.

"In terms of the direct employment we would estimate that the touring caravan park would create four full time and eight seasonal/part time jobs for persons employed in the operation. Furthermore, there will be immediate benefits during the "built" phase of the development through the employment of local contractors and tradesmen."

Images: Weddles Landscape Design


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