Councillors from Aberdeenshire Council have given the green light to the re-development of Stonehaven’s Queen Elizabeth caravan and motorhome site after over one million pounds of funding was pledged.
Two separate planning applications were submitted to the council for the re-development, which would see The Caravan Club investing £1.75m to revamp the site in time for the 2013 holiday season. Both applications were unanimously approved by councillors. The application had no objections following the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) withdrawal of an earlier objection, and the re-development has been welcomed by local residents who believe it will have a positive impact on tourism. The site will actually see a reduction of caravan and motorhome pitches from 103 to 84 to make room for a new toilet block, service points, lighting and improved CCTV. The decision will mean fewer spaces for those holding motorhome insurance but the upgrading of the park will probably attract a lot more mobile home owners over the course of the year.
Community Councillor Phil Mills-Bishop is not opposed to the investment The Caravan Club are making in the park, but he believes the application is flawed, 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.”
However, Committee Chair, Councillor Carl Nelson, said SEPA and the Flood Prevention Unit are now both satisfied with the application. The move could mean a huge windfall for the town’s businesses with members of the Kincardine and Mearns area committee being told that with the Caravan Club running the site the local economy will be boosted by £540,000 each year – £360,000 more than when the council ran the site. It is hoped the caravan park will be open for eleven months of the year to allow people to visit the town throughout the year and not only during the holidays. This would be good news for those visiting at Hogmanay and for the many hikers who are drawn to the area throughout the year.