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Residents fighting resubmitted proposal to create camping site

Residents fighting to preserve the green gap between Herne Bay and Whitstable are challenging plans for a touring caravan and camping site. The owner of the land at Heymar in Whitstable Road, Herne Bay, was granted permission for 56 pitches in 2013 despite strong opposition but he never developed the site and has now submitted a smaller scheme. The application is for 25 grass pitches on a different part of the field, using existing buildings for shower facilities and an office/reception. City council planning officers are recommending it be approved when the planning committee meets on January 6. That is despite 25 new letters of objection, many of them from residents of the Studd Hill Residents’ Association, as well as Protect Kent and ward councillor Peter Lee. In his report, planning officer Ben Young says the Local Plan “does allow for development within the green gap where education or leisure uses are promoted”. He concludes:

“While sympathetic to many of the concerns raised by neighbouring residents, it is not thought the proposal would have a significant impact on residential amenity. On balance, this is a suitable and relatively sustainable location for the provision of a touring caravan and campsite on the edge of the urban area and the likely implications would not cause unacceptable harm.”

Cllr Peter Lee said:

“There is a feeling by local residents that any development of the green gap between Herne Bay and Whitstable should be resisted because it could become the thin end of the wedge. The site is already being used for accommodating campers without many of the conditions of the first approval being met. Although this application is significantly different from the first one, it is not the high-quality development previously proposed.”

In their letters of objection, residents claim they will suffer noise and nuisance from the use as a campsite. They also fear it will have a detrimental affect on the local landscape and put further pressure on the green gap to be developed.

Herne Bay Gazette, January 1st 2015

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