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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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‘Housing plan will ruin our business’

THE owners of a booming caravan park are fighting housing plans which they say would threaten the future of their business.

50032257B002.jpg varley
OPPOSITION: Terry and Gillian Varley, owners of the Bardsea Leisure Park, are fighting plans to build hundreds of homes on land next to their park JOE RILEY REF: 50032257B002

Bardsea Leisure Park owners Gillian and Terry Varley claim South Lakeland District Council’s Land Allocation plan to build hundreds of homes on land next to them would jeopardise the business.

The plans are part of a housing scheme to build 1,250 homes in Ulverston by 2025.

Constructing houses on the adjacent land, between Priory Road and Urswick Road, would have a “devastating impact” on the park which has a £7m turnover, the Varleys said.

Last year SLDC’s plans did not include housing next to the park and the Varleys say SLDC told them it would not be developed because it is high above the skyline.

The Varleys have hired a town planner who will submit a report to the inspectorate which is considering the plans.

Mrs Varley, who said the park attracts up to 3,000 people a week during peak season, said: “We feel so let down by SLDC. They are not looking at the full picture. We are bringing millions into the town and South Lakes.

“We employ 31 full-time staff and five seasonal staff and this would have a devastating effect on business.

“We have spent £1m in the past 10 years. We want to continue to grow and we hoped to employ more people, but we don’t know what our position is going to be any more.

“We are not opposed to new homes, but we feel the high number they are putting forward is far too great.

“In five years it might not be viable to keep this business here.”

Barrow and Furness MP John Woodcock said: “Local businesses are vital to getting the area back to prosperity and many would take a real knock if the caravan park lost its ability to attract thousands of tourists into the area.

“There is a growing need for more decent, affordable homes in Ulverston, but people cannot understand the scale of the plans being imposed on the town, particularly when less controversial proposals to expand in the Barrow area nearby are being ignored.”

Representations on the Land Allocation document can be submitted to SLDC by 5pm on Tuesday, April 17.

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