Caravan park's bid to extend holiday season to 11 months is opposed

The cliffs at Pakefield beach have been badly eroded. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Pakefield Caravan Park have applied for permission to remain open for 11 months of the year at the northern side of Arbor Lane. - Credit: Jamie Honeywood

A caravan park could fail in a second bid to extend the length of their holiday season after town councillors voiced their opposition.

Pakefield Caravan Park is bidding to welcome guests for an extra two weeks to cover 11 months of the year.

A previous application, however, was rejected by East Suffolk Council in April, which would have allowed year-round occupation of the site, which has a licence for 374 caravans.

Both proposals were met with opposition by Lowestoft Town Council.

At a planning committee meeting on June 22, councillor Wendy Brooks said: "I am opposed to this as, whether it is for 10-and-a-half or 11 months, it is not for tourism, it seems to be for residential.

"They say it is to boost tourism but it blatantly isn't.

"The whole argument about static caravans is that they boost tourism, but when they have a longer occupancy, then one has to suspect it isn't about extending the holiday season, but rather to allow people to live there as their primary address, which you're not really supposed to do."

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The park covers both sides of Arbor Lane, with the northern side, previously known as The Bushes, the subject of the application.

The southern side of the site is already open throughout the year. 

In a planning statement prepared as part of the application, agent Savills said: "This application has been made to address the ongoing demand the park experiences for year-round holiday occupation."

They added "residential misuse" was not an issue at the park.

Town councillors voted to recommend the proposal is rejected, with five votes to one, and one abstention, with the matter to be decided by East Suffolk Council's planning team at a later date.

The district council rejected the previous, 12 month application, earlier this year, stating: "A strategic priority to deliver the Waveney Local Plan vision is to support the growth of the tourism industry.

"Self-catered tourist accommodation plays a vital role in the district's tourism sector.

"However, tourist accommodation can often come under pressure to be occupied for full-time, residential use.

"There are no significant benefits that would outweigh the clear conflict with the local plan."