Green light for Coldstream caravan park

Work is set to start on a 15-acre caravan park in Coldstream after Scottish Borders Council’s planning committee gave the scheme the go-ahead last week.

Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th December 2020, 12:22 am
Applicant Chris Gregg at the site, flanked by councillors Donald Moffat and John Greenwell.

The major new tourism development, opposite the health centre on Kelso Road, will consist of 99 static caravans, 14 touring pitches, luxury lodges and a range of glamping accommodation.

Applicant Chris Gregg, who has run Blackadder Holiday Park in Greenlaw for the past 25 years, said work will begin straight away with the first phase of the new park set to open to visitors in May.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Gregg said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Coldstream Holiday Park was given the green light. After carrying out lengthy research and marketing planning for the project, the opportunities are immense, not just for the business, but for the whole town.

“We look forward to building a vibrant 21st century business which will encourage many, many visitors to visit and return to this lovely and unique Border town.”

Coldstream councillor Donald Moffat, who spoke in favour of the scheme, said: “As a councillor, I could see the benefit of re-establishing a caravan/campsite in Coldstream. This will be a legacy for future generations and will help our local economy for years to come.”

Planning officers had recommended a condition that visitors to the caravan park could only stay there for a maximum of 99 days each year.

However that condition was extended to a “mid-ground” six months, after Mr Gregg appealed to councillors to allow holiday makers to stay for 11.5 months of the year.

The prospect of re-establishing a caravan/camping site for Coldstream was first mooted in 1997, with the project picked up by the late Gerald Tait, the community council, and councillors John Greenwell and Moffat.

The views of local people were sought, resulting in a town action plan which included the need to re-establish a caravan park.

With support of Jill and Colin McGregor of McGregor Farms, the site was identified two years ago.

However, opinions on the location and type of park has divided opinion in the town.

Representing Protect Coldstream, a group established in opposition to the plans, Isobel Cocklane told the meeting: “I speak on behalf of some 120 residents of the town who object to this application.

“We believe it would have a very significant adverse effect on the landscape of the area. The character and visual cohesion of the surrounding area would clearly be compromised.

“The massing of a hundred densely-packed metal and plastic static caravans, accommodating well over 500 people is of unsuitable quality and disproportionate scale in relation to Coldstream with its population of under 2,000.”

Mrs Cocklane said there was “no question” that Coldstream needed a seasonal campsite. But she added: “It does not, however, need a highly visible, inappropriately sized, unimaginatively designed, residential static caravan park.

“It would irrevocably damage Coldstream’s greatest asset – its landscape, setting, and thus its tourist potential.”

Members of the planning committee were sympathetic to concerns about the impact on the landscape.

East Berwickshire councillor Jim Fullarton said: “I understand the sensitivity in Coldstream - this is a pretty major site.”

However they felt that the economic benefits the caravan park would bring to the town outweighed that and unanimously backed the plans.