Prime seafront spot could be converted into caravan pitches

Plans to convert a seafront field into a camping and caravan site would be '˜grossly intrusive' and '˜encroach' into a strategic gap, objectors have warned.

Thursday, 12th May 2016, 1:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2016, 2:11 pm

Applicant Sylvatica Ltd hopes to secure planning permission for a 46-pitch facility on land to the north of Marine Drive, Goring, east of Amberley Drive.

Documents submitted to Worthing Borough Council by Sylvatica argue it would provide a ‘much-needed tourist facility’, with economic benefits outweighing its visual impact.

But Ferring Conservation Group – alongside several residents – believe it would be ‘completeley out of character’.

Group vice chairman Ed Miller, in an official representation, said: “Such a development would be grossly intrusive and completely out of character in a unique landscape of high scenic value and wildlife importance.”

Ferring resident Jane Melvin, in another objection, said the plans would be ‘an encroachment into a strategic gap’ and set a precedent for other, similar developments.

But Sylvatica stated such an area was the only suitable place for the facility, with no space within the existing built up area.

The presence of camper vans and motorhomes has been a contentious issue in recent months, with steps taken by West Sussex County Council to stop them parking overnight.

One of the hotspots was Marine Drive – and Sylvatica’s documents notes the issue.

The application design and access statement read: “Their relocation into a properly-managed site would have benefits to thevisual amenities of the area.

“It is better that such vehicles be parked in a properly landscaped setting rather than in a somewhat haphazard fashion on the public highway.”

Sylvatica believes the site could contribute £500,000 to the local economy, given its desirable location.

Goring councillor Mark Nolan declined to offer his opinion on the application because it was ongoing.

He said: “Local residents will know my thoughts but, as with all planning applications, now that a formal application has been submitted, we must allow due process to take place before commenting further.”