New caravans at popular park could bring in £4million for local economy

New static caravans could be added to Carlton Meres Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

New static caravans could be added to Carlton Meres Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

A vision to extend a popular country park with 50 new static caravans could bring in around £4million a year to the area’s economy, it has been said.

Plans for the extension at Carlton Meres Country Park have been submitted to East Suffolk Council.

The site is owned by Park Holidays UK, which is one of the largest holiday caravan park operators in the country and also owns parks in Felixstowe and Lowestoft.

It is currently just under 18hectares in size and is already home to a number of caravans, as well as glamping pods.

The extension would add around 6.45ha to the site, making use of two areas of land which adjoin the existing site.

The application also includes plans for a new children's play area, as well as recreational space.

In a support statement submitted with the application and prepared by the Rural and Urban Planning Consultancy, Park Holidays UK said: "This proposal provides a direct business benefit both to the park and its local area.

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"Direct spending by tourists creates multipliers in the local economy, providing vital additional income for small businesses, resulting in greater economic diversity and job creation.

"The granting of consent will further assist in the park's continuing upgrading and improvement and help both the operational effectiveness and competitiveness of the park.

"The proposed development will provide material economic benefits to the local economy with an additional £4m per annum (direct and spin-off revenue) being generated by the scheme."

If the work is approved it would be the latest in a series of improvements made to the site in the last few years.

Park Holidays UK took over Carlton Meres in 2017 and has spent over £5million in upgrades and improvements to the site's facilities and infrastructure.

Mostly recently £2.5million was spent on a new architect-designed indoor swimming pool as well as a hi-tech entertainment centre and a new bar-restaurant, which company bosses hoped would boost the site's appeal to those interested in 'staycation' breaks.

The final decision on the latest plans will be made by East Suffolk Council in the next few months.