Banburyshire village up in arms over plan for a 73-berth caravan park

Villagers in Adderbury are expressing fierce opposition to a planning application for a 73-van caravan park on their doorstep.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 11th May 2020, 5:06 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 2:24 pm
The shared access to the ten-acre field just outside the village boundary at west Adderbury
The shared access to the ten-acre field just outside the village boundary at west Adderbury

The site is a ten-acre field opposite Ball Colegrave on Milton Road, currently used for horse grazing and hay-making. But it is now up for sale, for £300,000, with a 25-year uplift clause to allow the owner to recover profits made, should the field be used for housing development in future.

Villagers so far have vehemently opposed the development, fearing the caravan park may become a traveller site. A large caravan park on the same road near Bloxham closed five years ago.

The residents believe a caravan park for 73 vans would cause more traffic, crime and environmental damage and they fear the loss of even more agricultural land supporting a variety of wildlife.

The ten-acre field opposite Ball Colegrave in Adderbury where an application has been made for consent to develop a park for 73 caravans

Owner Katie MacDonald's agent, Neil Davis, said in the application: "The site is for all year round occupation although it is acknowledged (it) is unlikely to be at full capacity until early summer. The close proximity to Adderbury and the Ball Colgrave Summer Showcase which runs for three weeks every year offers real opportunities to promote sustainable tourism as both are within walking distance of the site entrance. The facility will appeal to a wide audience including families, retired couples and caravan clubs/organisations.

"The caravans are not fixed mobiles/park homes and therefore do not amount to permanent fixtures on the site."

According to RightMove the field is up for sale 'with potential long term development opportunities... (and) may also interest investors with the longer term development possibilities'.

On the Adderbury Community Noticeboard Facebook page one resident called the proposed site 'This is the biggest joke ever'.

The Milton Road site where a developer is seeking consent to create a caravan park

"What with the new playing field (and) extra housing combined with ever increasing traffic, this shouldn’t even be given consideration. More erosion of the countryside. Seems consultation has closed, so this was a sneaky application whilst we are under lockdown," she said.

Another suggested the site may be bought surreptitiously by travellers and called on villagers to rally to oppose the 'ludicrous suggestion'.

And another villager said: "This needs to be outed as a botched attempt at consultation when many people are unable - because of lockdown - unable get access to information. A caravan park would have a massive impact on the village integrity. Although the application is for recreational, this could be modified at some point to 'residential' and then it could become a traveller site. Nothing against the traveller community per se, but it would change the character of the village.

"Either way, it brings a large number of people with rapid turnover into the village - 70 caravans means potentially 140 movements every few days and raises concerns over road usage."

Objector Joanne Hall wrote officially to the council. "The local infrastructure can not cope with extra traffic and Milton road is already a death trap. It will increase noise and possibly theft. It will not being much needed employment to the area but instead potentially damage the beautiful location."

Thomas White said: "There has been huge expansion of the village in the last five or so years with no growth of the school, shops or public transport infrastructure. The site itself is not linked by footpaths or cycle paths to anything."

Danielle Tolson said: "Recreational caravan parks would typically incorporate large green areas, space for outdoor activities such as nature trails, ponds, woodland walks and picnic areas. The introduction of 70 new dwellings to the area will place undue strain on village facilities, services and already stretched infrastructure, contributing nothing in return. I urge the planning committee to decline this application and see it for the veiled trailer home park it is."

West Adderbury has seen two new housing developments built over the past three years and a plan to build a sports and community centre with sports pitches on the same road has met with big opposition from householders nearby.