New twist in 12-year planning battle over Suffolk camp site

The Pine Lodge camp site near Blythburgh in East Suffolk

The Pine Lodge camp site near Blythburgh has been the subject of a dispute with the district council for nearly 12 years. - Credit: Google Maps

New steps are to be taken in a long-running planning row over an unauthorised east Suffolk campsite.

East Suffolk Council – and previously Suffolk Coastal – has been in dispute with the operators of Pine Lodge Campsite off Hazel's Lane in Hinton, near Blythburgh, for almost 12 years.

The council says the required planning permission for the campsite has not been obtained and several applications and appeals have all been rejected.

The saga started in October 2010 when an enforcement notice was served on the owners of the land after an entrance to the site was created onto Hazel's Lane and an unauthorised building was brought into use.

Since then there were several appeals which were rejected and further attempts to enforce compliance.

In 2017 the owner was fined £1,000 with £600 costs for failing to comply with an enforcement notice seeking the removal of a mobile home and steps.

Eventually, they were removed by the end of the year but other issues with the site remained unresolved.

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In 2018 and 2019 there were hearings in the High Court that resulted in a three-month sentence for the operator suspended for 12 months.

East Suffolk Council's Planning Committee North will hear next Tuesday that a new date for the owners to comply with an Enforcement Notice is September 30. 

Failure to comply will result in the start of new legal proceedings – although given the delay in cases coming to civil courts at present it is understood that the council accepts it could be some time before any case is heard.

The meeting is expected to note the plans for the next stage in the ongoing dispute.

This newspaper made two attempts to contact the owners of the campsite but received no reply to our telephone calls.

The site is still being advertised as open online – but the most recent review was from 2014 which described it as "quiet and spacious" but did say the facilities were "somewhat basic".

The reviewer added the site's main plus points were its proximity to the coast at Southwold, Walberswick and Sizewell.