The Golden Cap Holiday Park in Seatown, near Chideock, has recently been given the green light by local councillors to undergo a commercial development which will see the construction of a 420 seater restaurant, swimming pool and leisure complex. Furthermore, West Dorset Leisure Holidays (WDLH), which owns five holiday parks in Dorset, has also been given permission to replace over three hundred caravan plot sites with larger, more permanent lodge-style units.
Whilst some are happy about the development of the site, some residents are complaining that the new complex will be too bright, too noisy, and not in keeping with the local landscape. Kate Geraghty, a resident of Seatown for almost forty years, has said “I am heartbroken. The scale and design of the leisure building is totally inappropriate for this site, this area. It is a huge building – the height of Boots in Bridport. The light pollution from it and the proposed lodges is likely to be a real problem too. It is a frightening precedent for all the unspoilt protected landscape along the coast. It is the end of Seatown. I suppose some may continue the fight, but it really does look like the end of it.”
However, other residents of the area have claimed that the new developments could be beneficial to the area, with one (who did not wished to be named amidst fears of receiving backlash from the community) saying “I think we might see a reduction in traffic. The main problem is people towing caravans or driving campervans down the narrow lanes to get here. If the plots are replaced by lodges then that traffic will disappear. I think the fear is that the area will be packed, but I don’t share those fears.”
The replacement of caravan plots with permanent lodges may upset many motorhome and caravan owners, as many of those that visit holiday parks like to do so with their own vehicles. Some argue that the main reason they own motorhomes and motorhome insurance is so that they have the freedom to embark on adventures and have a home-away-from-home, which this new development doesn’t offer.