Climbing wall to get the go-ahead - despite 37 objections

Thornwick Bay Holiday Village
Thornwick Bay Holiday Village

A picturesque area of Flamborough is set to be blighted by an “eyesore” climbing wall after planners recommended its approval.

Bourne Leisure has submitted proposals for a six metre-tall outdoor activity wall and separate timber ranger station on land next to Thornwick Bay Holiday Village.

But despite being recommended for approval in a council planning officer’s report, a total of 37 people have objected to the plans following concerns it will “spoil” the coastal views.

Issues were raised at the prospect of such a commercial development “encroaching” onto the Heritage Coast, potentially spoiling an area of natural beauty and leading to further development of a similar nature.

One objector said: “It is a large man made structure that will be visible from certain directions when walking, and from some residential properties as well. As this is a Heritage coastline all such applications should be rejected.

“This is an area of outstanding natural beauty that many people travel great distances to see.

“They don’t want large structures that at the end of the day are only for Havens clients. It will bring noise, light pollution and health and safety issues.”

Work on the ranger station had previously already started, but it was halted after a visit from the council’s planning enforcement officer.

The planned development site lies within the existing holiday park, which is owned by Haven Holidays, but also within the Heritage Coast in an area of ‘high landscape value.’

If approved, both the climbing wall and ranger station would be open from between 9am and 10pm Monday to Sunday and employ up to four full-time staff members.

Bourne Leisure purchased the holiday park in 2015 and have invested £12.5m over the past three years on various site upgrades to the welcome building, restaurant/bar and on the indoor swimming pool.

The park consists of 1,150 static caravans and 250 touring pitches, and in peak season employs up to 250 staff – making it one of the largest private employers in the area.

A previous application to site 26 caravans on land at the southern end of the Thornwick Bay resort was narrowly rejected by East Riding councillors in December 2018.

In a report set to go before the same planning committee, Alan Menzies, East Riding Council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, has recommended that the plans be approved, subject to conditions.

He said: “The climbing wall and ranger station are considered a modest addition to the existing holiday park and are of a scale that would respect the intrinsic character of the sites’ surroundings.

“The erection of a ranger station and external climbing wall will be seen in the context of the existing developed holiday park and will not detract from the application site or wider area or harm the character and appearance of the surrounding area or Heritage Coast.

“The development will not result in additional light pollution or detrimental levels of noise and will not cause detrimental harm to the amenities of the neighbouring properties.”

A decision will be made at a meeting of East Riding Council’s eastern area planning committee in Beverley on Monday.

Jack Muscutt, Local Democracy Reporting Service