THE owner of a holiday let building near Ambleside has seen his application to change the use of the ‘lodge’ he lives in within the grounds from a caravan to a dwelling refused.

Timothy Coupe, who owns River House in Clappersgate, is locked in a dispute with Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) planners regarding his use of Riverhouse Retreat, a lodge comprising a twin-unit caravan close to River House.

Mr Coupe was granted permission in 2014 to site a caravan 'for any purposes incidental (necessary) to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse (River House)'.

He explains in his statement that he was hit with a planning contravention notice by the LDNPA in January this year regarding his use of the lodge.

His statement says: "For the last eight years I have lived in the Riverhouse Retreat at The River House, and managed the River House, acting as caretaker and doing day-to-day general management duties, maintaining and preparing it for change-overs.

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"I also do the grass-cutting, thinking that these actions were all incidental to the enjoyment of The River House itself and totally legal and above-board from a planning perspective."

Mr Coupe states that he answered a query from the LDNPA in 2019 confirming that Riverhouse Retreat was indeed being used for purposes incidental to The River House.

He states: "To my amazement, over three years later, thinking as any reasonable person would, that the enquiry had been concluded years before, I then received a planning contravention notice dated January 24, 2023."

Mr Coupe enclosed several letters from people confirming that he has lived in Riverhouse Retreat for eight years.

These were from a contractor that was tasked to ensure the unit was securely fixed to the ground, his partner who stays with him there regularly, a DPD delivery driver, and Wheelwrights letting agents, who advertise The River House as a holiday-let.

This application, which was refused, sought to confirm the lodge as a dwelling for Mr Coupe, but the LDNPA planner’s report explaining the decision said:

"It is not considered that the applicant has provided sufficient evidence in order to demonstrate, on the balance of probabilities, that the 'unit' is physically incapable of being moved from one place to another.

"The 'unit' therefore remains a twin-unit caravan and thus cannot be a dwelling."