Plan for 130-bed hotel on caravan site approved after appeal

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 November 2019

Hill Pond caravan park. Picture: Google

Hill Pond caravan park. Picture: Google

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A new 130-bedroom hotel will be built on the site of a caravan and camping park in Clyst St Mary.

Hill Pond Caravan and Camping Park successfully appealed against the non-determination by East Devon District Council over their plans to build a new hotel on the site of the existing park just off the A3052.

Planning inspector Andrew Spencer-Peet, in his report, said the economic benefits of the new hotel would address the current shortfall of holiday accommodation in the area.

He added: "There is clear evidence of need for a hotel at this location, given its position with regards to access to the M5 motorway and its position relative to nearby business and leisure developments.

"I therefore conclude that it has been shown there would be demand for a hotel at the appeal site despite its location outside of a settlement.

"The scheme would provide significant employment opportunities both during the construction phase and in relation to the hotel and the facilities that it would provide.

"Furthermore, the proposal would help address the acknowledged current shortfall of holiday accommodation in the area, with visitors likely to contribute to the viability of local businesses and nearby visitor attractions."

Bryan Turner, on behalf of WWD Ltd, acting as an agent for the application, said that the approval of the hotel will add 'extra stimulus' to the area around Westpoint and Crealy.

He said: "The decision recognised a clearly pent up and demonstrated need for such accommodation together with the significant economic benefits it would provide."

Mr Turner said that while there was some conflict with the Local Plan, the benefits of the proposal would carry sufficient weight to justify allowing the appeal scheme.

East Devon District Council had issued a report that said they would have resolved to refuse planning permission, had the decision not be taken away from them by the appeal against non-determination.

Council planners said there was an absence of robust evidence of need and demand for a hotel in the location and it had not been demonstrated that there was such an un-met need for the hotel.

But Mr Spencer-Peet, announcing his decision, allowed the appeal.

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