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£5m caravan park plan for seafront

PUBLISHED: 14:26 06 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:35 05 July 2010

A HOLIDAY firm has revealed plans to invest nearly £5m on transforming a rundown area of seafront land in Lowestoft into a new caravan park.

Up to 15,000 tourists a year are expected to flock to the North Denes site, which was formerly a council-run caravan park, when it opens at the start of the 2009 summer season.

A HOLIDAY firm has revealed plans to invest nearly £5m on transforming a rundown area of seafront land in Lowestoft into a new caravan park.

Up to 15,000 tourists a year are expected to flock to the North Denes site, which was formerly a council-run caravan park, when it opens at the start of the 2009 summer season.

Park Holidays UK has agreed to shell out more than £1.5m to secure the land on a 99-year lease from Waveney District Council and will pump in another £3m to create a site that will feature 150 static caravans, about 70 pitches for touring caravans and an area for tents.

Council bosses insisted the arrival of Park Holidays would spark widespread regeneration of the north Lowestoft area and pledged to invest its £1.5m windfall into improving open space in the town.

Stephen Ardley, the council's portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “Park Holidays provided the best offer in terms of value and development of the site and is a very well respected company in the industry. Its redevelopment of the site will be comprehensive and work will be undertaken with a strong commitment to making the North Denes a premier park, recognised on a national basis.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that the future of the North Denes is in safe hands and we now move a step closer to the day when tourists and residents alike return to the area, revitalising north Lowestoft and providing outstanding facilities for us all to be proud of.”

The council has been controversially trying to offload the North Denes site for several years, but repeatedly came under fire from the Protect Our North Denes' Association (Ponda). Objectors claimed the caravan site belonged to the public because it had long been used by the people of Lowestoft.

Waveney District Council spent about £400,000 in legal fees to fight challenges to its decision and in February voted again to sell-off the site following claims it had not properly considered public objections. On Wednesday, Park Holidays revealed it was prepared to allow the public to continue to use the site and would also build a play area for use by tourists and town residents.

In addition, the council is to pay for 33 acres of land to be landscaped for use as public open space, while it is also hoping to carry out improvement work to the Lowestoft Scores.

Park Holidays UK currently runs about 25 holiday parks in Devon, Dorset, Sussex, Kent, Essex and Felixstowe, in Suffolk. Its owner Peter Bull said he had been looking to move further north into Lowestoft and was delighted when a seafront site became available.

For more information about Park Holidays UK, go to www.parkholidaysuk.com

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