A resident of Stonehaven, who is also an active community council member, has raised some concerns about a planning application submitted to Aberdeenshire Council which could affect holders of motorhome insurance policies throughout the UK. He feels the application submitted by “The Caravan Club” is flawed and should not go ahead without a number of amendments.
Phil Mills-Bishop has these worries despite the council giving an overwhelming and unconditional approval of the application. The running of the Queen Elizabeth Caravan and Motorhome Park was taken over from Aberdeenshire Council by Stonehaven Town Partnership in 2011 after members backed plans for it to be transferred. The park is just one of many parks the council off-loaded in order to cut costs. The local authority was losing £2700 each year running the site and by handing it over they hoped to cut costs.
A planning application was then submitted to the council last month for a £1.8m revamp of the site. The Caravan Club wants to totally transform the park in time for the 2013 holiday season and attract motorhome owners from all corners of the UK, bringing in extra revenue to the local area. The redevelopment includes more hard standings, a new toilet block, service points, new lighting, new CCTV, an improved play area for children, reception building and alterations to vehicle access.
Phil Mills-Bishop says there are many reasons why the application cannot be passed without amendments. He said: “The argument here being used by the applicant is that this is a redevelopment, not a whole new development, but the scale and detail of buildings and its accoutrements indicates a degree of permanence. There has also been no flood risk assessment done despite Flood Unit asking for it at pre-consultation.”
On the planning application it is stated that it is hoped the park will be open for 11 months of the year to allow people to visit the area throughout the year and not just the holiday season. The application, which is still pending, will be decided by the council and they will not make any comment until they reach a final decision.