Plans for holiday lodges on Wenhaston quarry deferred until site visit carried out amid contamination concerns

Wenhaston Quarry. Picture: DAVE VINCENT

Wenhaston Quarry. Picture: DAVE VINCENT - Credit: Archant

Plans to develop a 59-cabin holiday park on a former quarry in Wenhaston have been deferred until a planning committee has visited the site.

Suffolk Coastal District Council’s planning committee was presented with plans lodged by Taylor Bray Ltd on Thursday to create 59 holiday lodge cabins, boating shed, lakes, facilities building and workshop on the disused quarry off Heath Road.

The land is considered greenfield since quarrying stopped there three years ago, but concerns have been raised over traces of arsenic on the site.

Thursday’s committee opted to request a site visit for later this month, so that more information could be obtained about the area, and greater clarity could be sought from the county council for its position on restoring the site to nature.

The proposals are expected to come back before the planning committee in May or June.

Tristan Bray from the applicants said the plan was to create a site targeting the over 55s market and establish a “haven for wildlife to be enjoyed by visitors to the site.”

He added: “Our vision for the site is to turn the disused quarry into a first class natural environment.”

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The developers have constructed a five year plan to develop the land, with 10 lodges eyed for the first phase of work.

However, a catalogue of concerns had been raised by objectors to the plans.

Among those were the presence of arsenic on site, understood to have been brought onto the land during quarrying, as well as the narrow network of surrounding roads and potential for light and noise pollution.

Richard Tinkler, a local resident who made representations against the scheme, said: “There is no demonstrated planning need in the area. There are already three holiday lodge villages within five kilometres of the quarry – there isn’t a demand for another 59 lodges.”

Phil Corbett from Wenhaston Parish Council’s neighbourhood plan steering group said it “must be returned to nature”.

Council policy dictates that 56 days per year is the maximum occupancy duration for a holiday site, but fears were expressed by objectors that it would be used for residential purposes.

The developers have denied this would happen.

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