Appeal to transform Second World War camp into holiday lets is dismissed

The rufous bush chat, which is more commonly found in south-eastern Europe, made its way to the mars

LG Harrison and Son of Stiffkey had applied to convert the buildings off Greenway in Stiffkey into four-holiday units but saw their appeal dismissed. - Credit: Archant

An appeal over plans to convert a former Second World War training camp into holiday accommodation suitable for disabled persons has been dismissed over highways concerns.

LG Harrison and Son, of Stiffkey, had applied to convert buildings in the village into four holiday units.

But its proposal was rejected last December by North Norfolk District Council's planning committee, which cited a number of grounds including the development being in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Former army buildings off Green Way in Stiffkey. Picture: Planning documents/ James Henman architect

Former army buildings off Green Way in Stiffkey. Picture: Planning documents/ James Henman architects - Credit: Archant

The firm, which has declined to comment, opted to appeal the decision to the Planning Inspectorate.

And, while the government agency said the scheme carried plenty of positives, they were ultimately outweighed by fears over the safety of pedestrians in the area. 

The inspectorate had, in fact, disagreed with NNDC on its primary concern, saying the conversion would not have an adverse impact on the quality of the landscape, the special character of the heritage coast or the beauty of the AONB. 

It also said the proposal would provide significant economic benefits to the rural economy and have a moderate social benefit in providing accessible accommodation for people with impaired mobility.

But in his decision report, inspector David Spencer said the project would "unacceptably intensify the use of what is a particularly deficient junction with the A149 coast road".

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He added: "It would also result in an unsatisfactory increase in vehicle and pedestrian conflict on parts of Greenway close to the A149 junction, where there is no safe footway refuge."

It was also highlighted that pedestrians and wheelchair users from the prospective holiday park would be forced to riskily share the A149 carriageway at various points in order to reach Stiffkey. 

Safe and suitable access to the site could therefore not be achieved for all visitors. 

The report said: "On that basis, development should be refused on highway grounds, in accordance with the development plan policy and National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). 

"I have taken into account the material considerations, but these do not outweigh my concerns on highway safety."

To view the full response, go to NNDC's planning portal, looking up reference PF/20/1202.