Anger over caravan park expansion bid

VILLAGERS are worried that one of Suffolk's best-known leisure complexes could expand, adding to noise and traffic in the community.

John Howard

VILLAGERS are worried that one of Suffolk's best-known leisure complexes could expand, adding to noise and traffic in the community.

Almost 60 new holiday caravans could be installed at Stonham Barns Caravan and Camping Park on the A1120 at Stonham Aspal near Stowmarket.

They would be built to look like timber lodges and will be permanent tourist accommodation - including a new toilet, shower block and the continued use of a field for touring caravan owners.


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Mid Suffolk councillors, meeting at their Needham Market chambers next week, will debate the plans and their officers are recommending it gets the go-ahead.

But some villagers are unhappy and fear it is an excessive overdevelopment in their community and will lead to noise, traffic, road safety issues, pollution and vandalism.

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They believe there is inadequate parking and that this project may just be the beginning, with further development later.

Stonham Barns is hugely popular with on site attractions including an owl sanctuary, golf course, craft shops and large tea room.

Tim Passmore, leader of Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “We need to boost the rural economy and it is very important to bring jobs into the area. When people come on holiday here they spend money locally.

“Tourism is a key industry in the county and mid Suffolk is well placed for the coast, our heritage and our lovely buildings.

“We need to be sensitive to local concerns. But this has, on balance to be welcomed, especially during an economic downturn. This is a large tourism plan for our area.”

Officers at the authority believe the facilities will be created on an established tourist area and the plans would be a boost to the rural economy without any significant traffic and landscape problems.

They are suggesting a string of conditions on issues including landscaping, parking and lighting before planning permission is granted.

Councillors on Mid Suffolk District Council's planning control committee will meet on Wednesday from 9.30am to debate the plans.

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