Community rallies against caravan site at Foulden

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Residents of Foulden have expressed their dismay about proposals for a caravan site on the edge of their settlement. 

The villagers are up in arms over proposals from James Tait, the owner of Orchard Country Park at Lucker, north Northumberland, to build a 52-caravan holiday park in the grounds of Willowdean House, beside the village.

The proposals have been met by 80 objections, including from Foulden, Mordington and Lamberton Community Council, with most objectors mentioning the visual impact of a holiday park on the small village as their main concern.

The plans were last discussed at a meeting of Scottish Borders Council’s planning and building standards committee, which met on August 5.

Council officers recommended approving the plans, but councillors informed officers they could not make a decision without first visiting the proposed site. 

Residents of Foulden have published an open letter to councillors: “The residents of Foulden and the local community council have vigorously objected to this proposal. 

“Their decision was made on the grounds of the inappropriate scale and appearance in terms of design, materials and siting; of its impact on the natural and built environment and its negative effect on residential amenity of the whole area. The effects on traffic and road safety and the local infrastructure have been underestimated.

“Local opposition to this proposal is unanimous, with over 80 letters of objection with very relevant and well-argued content, and with a survey of all Foulden residents showing 98% opposition to the development. 

“However, the planning department has dismissed and completely ignored these well-informed and detailed local objections in their recommendation for approval.

“The local community considers that the proposed development of a holiday park of ‘second home lodges’ in Foulden is inappropriate to the visual character and amenity of Foulden and its surrounding area.The proposed development will be clearly visible and the proposed layout and design of holiday lodges are not in keeping with the visual character, building grouping or materials of the village and local area.”

Despite the objections of the local community, council officers are still recommending that councillors approve the application. 

In a report to councillors, Ian Aikman, the council’s chief planning officer, writes: “The application site is an attractive location which has the potential to accommodate a suitable form of tourism development. 

“The development is likely to create an economic benefit for the area which could prompt further regeneration and inward investment into the local economy. It is acknowledged that the scale of the development is significant on this rural edge of Foulden and its resulting impacts have been carefully considered.”

The developers were approached for comment but failed to respond.