Council set to back holiday village plans

From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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PLANS for 31 new caravans at a holiday village have come in for criticism from harbour caretakers.

The Chichester Harbour Conservancy has objected to the expansion at Mill Rythe in Hayling Island on the grounds that it will spoil the view from the harbour.

The site is a highly-protected Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and tourists flock to the Island because of that.

In a report to be presented to Havant Borough Council’s development planning committee next week, officers recommend councillors give the plans the go-ahead in the interest of the local economy, despite the protests from the conservancy.

In a representation made to the committee the conservancy was scathing about the plans.

It said: ‘We are concerned about the scale and density of the proposed development and its proximity to the harbour.

‘The caravans would be located in one of the most exposed parts of the site as viewed from the AONB.’

It added that the caravans ‘would be likely to create a significant visual intrusion into the landscape, particularly at this density and in this prominent position on the site, thereby failing to conserve or enhance its special qualities or contributing to the landscape.’

The conservancy has suggested fewer caravans in a location set further back would be more acceptable. The permission being sought at the moment is to change the use of the area and there are no details of the types of caravan to be used.

Keith Oliver, the senior planning officer in charge of the case, said: ‘The principal issues are the continued success of this facility as a tourist facility and its support for the local economy, against the potential impact upon the setting of the AONB.’

He added that, on balance, the economic arguments for the expansion were paramount.

A decision will be made on Thursday at 5pm in the council chamber of Havant’s Public Services Plaza.