A retired couple with a passion for motorhoming have criticised South Holland District Council for turning down a village pub’s plan to extend its premises and the adjoining caravan site.
Michael and Laurel Harding, formerly of Kent, now live in Lutton after enjoying several return trips to south Lincolnshire.
They say the planning committee’s decision over the Rose and Crown site at Holbeach Hurn last month was “slightly narrow-minded” and have called for a rethink.
But the chairman of the committee told The Voice that members were supportive of the business and were not opposed to the caravan site extension but it had to be in keeping with the size of the village.
Pub owners Eric and Jan Parker hoped to gain planning permission to extend the pub’s restaurant and kitchen and add a further 27 pitches to the exisiting 55.
Planning committee members went against their officers’ advice and refused the application, saying that the size of the caravan site would have a detrimental effect on the visual amenity and character of the location, and the potential increase in noise and disturbance would be a nuisance to neighbours.
Michael said: “This is a lovely little pub and campsite that people looking for a little idle escape from busy life find so tranquil and uplifting.
“In the last year, the owners have really tried to buck the trend of small village amenities closing down and have done their best to re-establish the heart of the village.
“Many of the villagers that we have spoken to have been dismayed at the council’s decision to turn down these plans.
“The caravan site is barely visible from the road as it is surrounded by high hedging therefore the visual impact would not change. The roads in the area already have large lorries and tractors using them so they doubt if a few more caravans would cause any problem to them and are in support of the improvements which they recognise are for the good of them as well as the welcome visitors to their village.
“We would have to question the wisdom of the council in refusing the plan and possibly call it slightly narrow minded.”
And he urged the council: “For goodness sake look forward for the prosperity of your area and also to show to others what a lovely little piece of England you are blessed with.”
Planning committee chairman Coun Roger Gambba-Jones said members were keen that the caravan site didn’t start to “overpower” the village.
He added: “They weren’t saying “no, nothing”. They were happy to support the pub extension but wanted the caravan site extension on a more modest scale and for the design to match its location.”