More than 100 caravans to be moved on to golf course

East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning
East Riding of Yorkshire Council planning

Plans to relocate more than 100 static caravans on to a golf course in Skipsea have been given the go-ahead, despite objections from residents.

Proposals by Far Grange Park and Golf Club to install 128 pitches on the current nine-hole pitch and putt course next to the holiday park were unanimously approved by councillors.

The application forms part of a ‘roll back’ scheme, where caravans at risk of coastal erosion are moved away from the cliff edge and placed elsewhere.

However, 45 letters of objection were sent to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, alongside a petition signed by more than 300 people against the plans.

Concerns were raised around the potential loss of a facility that is used “extensively” by caravan owners and their families.

Addressing councillors, one resident said: “There is a great deal of unrest and a feeling that they’re being disloyal to us really.

“All that we want is to go and follow what Far Grange have put on their brochures about a haven of contentment and peace.

“I can tell you there’s a big black cloud hanging over Far Grange at the moment, essentially because of this planning application.”

Skipsea Parish Council also listed its objection, stating that 128 static caravans “seems an excessive amount given the relatively low numbers of caravans at risk.”

Speaking on behalf of the holiday park’s owners Bourne Leisure, planning agent James Cox outlined the main reason behind the application.

He said: “It is important to recognise that this isn’t about providing a net gain in pitches, rather it’s about relocating those pitches that are at most risk from coastal erosion to an alternative safe location within the bounds of the existing park.

“As a responsible operator of the park, it is essential that Bourne Leisure is able to provide alternative well-planned pitches before those who are at most risk of erosion become unsafe or compromised.”

A council planning report acknowledged that, despite the worst affected caravans still being some 16m from the cliff edge – double the distance to be considered at risk – planning for roll back in advance is deemed a sensible approach to take in this case.

It adds that the applicant has offered a ‘phasing’ scheme where the total number of caravans on the site would not be more than the existing number, which currently stands at 778.

A further 25 pitches around the fishing lake have already been approved by planners but are yet to be implemented.

Meanwhile, the applicant confirmed it is looking into providing a replacement pitch and putt course.

However, Lynne Smith, who pays more than £5,000 each year in site fees, said she has strong doubts about this promise.

She said: “I don’t know where they are actually going to relocate this nine-hole course to because there’s no green area left on that site.”

In response, Mr Cox said facilities change over time and that the operators have made a number of improvements to the park, including a £150,000 refurbishment of the main bar.

Councillors decided to agree with the council planning director’s recommendations to approve the application, subject to conditions once a consultation period is complete.