PLANS for a 65-lodge holiday park in the Newbury countryside would lead to a dangerous increase in traffic, have a detrimental impact on the environment and possibly pave the way for further development, neighbouring residents fear.
Proposals from The Dream Lodge Group would see the ‘luxury lodges’ installed on land south of Lower Farm, off Hambridge Lane. The holiday firm had originally submitted plans for 25 lodges, which were granted on appeal in 2015.
However, the new application is now seeking permission to add a further 40 to the site.
People living to the north and the south of the holiday park have objected to the plans, which they say will have a serious impact on the surrounding area and worry that, if approved, a precedent could be set leading to more development.
One resident, Jon Carne, who lives to the immediate south west of the site, said: “There’s no stopping once you start with 25, then you’ve got another 40, where does it end?
“We are concerned about a precedent. You’ve got holiday chalets now, surely this could lead on to residential development.”
Neighbouring resident Sonia Shaw said the ecology of the grassland – currently home to a range of wildlife – would “change overnight”, while adding concerns over noise.
“We can hear the workmen during the day now,” she said. “It’s so quiet on an evening here, the noise will travel.
“They [the holidaymakers] are not going to be living here 365 days a year, so they are not going to be respecting their existing neighbours.”
Concerns over traffic were also raised, as the site will be accessed via an unnamed road off the busy Hambridge Lane.
Objectors say the significant increase in traffic resulting from the development would cause a danger to pedestrians and other road users both near to the site entrance and along Hambridge Lane itself.
A resident of Lower Farm, to the north of the site, said: “I’ve got young children, and dogs.
“The road is quite dangerous as it is with that blind bend – it isn’t suitable for that number of cars.”
The application has so far received 24 letters of objection, however, the holiday park operator says the development would provide a financial boost to the local economy, as well as help create employment in the area.
The group operates sites across the South of England, including the Newbury holiday park (dubbed ‘The Sanctuary’), which is currently in development.
The firm earned a rap on the knuckles from North Norfolk District Council last year after it installed six two-tonne gas tanks and built a gym, a nail salon and walls and gates on its Norfolk Park Homes site without seeking planning permission.
The Dream Lodge Group was approached for a comment by the Newbury Weekly News, but did not respond before the paper went to press.