Clashes over new UK Campsites

Camping is an extremely popular past-time in the UK due to the fact that we have numerous areas of natural beauty across the country. However, some believe that opening campsites in areas of natural beauty will ultimately ruin them, as an influx of people leads to increased pollution, waste, noise and even eyesores. Motorhome and campervan owners are particularly unpopular with local residents due to the fact that they can cause traffic on local roads or take up much-needed parking spaces.

This is why it is not surprising to see that in the build up to summer a number of residents of small towns and villages are protesting over campsites and caravan parks being opened where they live. For example, a controversial campsite has been given the go ahead in the village of Grenoside in Sheffield, leaving many local residents extremely angry. Once of the biggest reasons why local residents and businesses campaigned against the new campsite is because it is being built on green-belt land, however even though the plans are going ahead there will now only be space for thirty one caravan pitches instead of the originally planned seventy.

The local council received just over one hundred letters of complaint over the proposed campsite, however there were also those that supported its creation. This summer, the Tour de France is being held in Yorkshire, which will lead to thousands of tourists visiting Sheffield and the surrounding areas. Shop and pub owners have claimed that this tourism will be extremely beneficial to their businesses, and that the creation of a new campsite will also improve business in the region. Mark Boulby, landowner at the Little Intake Farm in Grenoside, said: “Just about every local business has written a letter of support – they think it’s a good idea to get more people using the facilities.

“It will bring new life to the village – there are times it’s like a ghost town. What’s wrong with people camping in Sheffield rather than going to the Peak District? It is a mile from the nearest house. All these points that have been brought up, we have taken action on most, like moving the campsite away from a historic wood. We have worked with the council to meet all of the criteria.” However, it’s not just campsites in Sheffield that have to meet strict criteria in order to be approved, as shown by the new motorhome and vehicle hire centre that will soon be opened in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire.

After a number of discussions with the local council, Priory Rental was finally allowed to open their new motorhome and vehicle hire centre at the former Badge Brow Service Station on Union Road. Discussing the new site, Rishton councillor Harry Grayson said: “The application was accepted on condition. It was agreed to move the fence back a metre and build a dwarf wall, with shrubs on top, to cover the area up. There were a number of issues, including lighting and the visual amenities and, obviously, both of these were overcome.” Meanwhile, a report to the planning committee said: “The fencing to the boundary fronting Badge Brow is not highly visible, being screened by vegetation, whilst the fencing to the rear and north is not in a particularly intrusive location.

“The site itself is in a highly-prominent location however, with Union Road being the main route through Oswaldtwistle and Oswaldtwistle Mills, the borough’s largest tourist attraction, is opposite the site. The fencing therefore, by reason of its height and design in this location, is considered to have a detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area and the street scene.” The owner of Priory Rental, Emma Carter, recently wrote to local residents to confirm that she would be adhering to the councils regulations, however her motorhome insurance requires her to comply with certain security measures, which is why it is necessary for the site to be protected by a fence.

How do you feel about new campsites being built across the UK? Are they good for the UK’s economy or do you worry that they are detrimental to the UK’s scenery? Let us know in the comments section below!