Weymouth Holiday Park launches app for year-round use
A REQUEST for year-round use at Waterside Holiday Park at Bowleaze Coveway in Weymouth will be decided by Dorset Councillors.
More than 40 people opposed the request which will be heard at a meeting of the planning committee on Thursday, May 5.
Officers recommend accepting the proposal saying there will likely be no “significant damage” to the area due to the extra weeks.
Those opposed cite increased traffic problems, with the site becoming full-time residential by default, turning the area into “a substandard housing estate” and year-round disruption.
Some objectors say the 46 weeks currently allowed for most of the site should be enough for financial stability and worry about the increased impact on the heritage coast: “It’s not sustainable tourism and goes to the against environmental objectives,” said one.
Other concerns raised were the impact on the traditional hotel and B7Bs in the area, the increased burning of fossil fuels for heating and lighting and the assertion that nature needs rest for at least a part of the year.
Certain sections of the site are subject to historic conditions which limit their use while a few areas may already be open throughout the year.
The site adjoins the Dorset Area of Outstanding Beauty and the Heritage Coast.
Over the years many of the caravans on the site have been replaced by wooden lodges which operators say make them more suitable for year-round use, coupled with the demand for “staycation” holidays throughout the year. Other sites in the region are already in use all year round.
Wessex Water says it has no objections, but says any changes to increase pipe sizes or flow rates should be agreed in advance and should first be prioritized on the need to maintain all existing household services.
The council’s Economic Growth and Regeneration team said general improvements in accommodation standards, temporary reductions in opportunities to go abroad and more flexible working patterns that make weekends easier have all helped to increase demand for what was previously considered the closed holiday season.
He adds that increased usage could bring other benefits to the local economy: “From a tourism and economic development perspective, increasing demand for mid- and off-season tourism has long been a strategic objective, as it increases tourism revenues, encourages the substitution of seasonal jobs with year-round jobs, and does not put the strain on infrastructure and the congestion that peak season demand can bring. Increased demand could justify improving year-round bus services on local routes, also improving sustainable transportation for residents and workers.
Site owners and supporters of year-round use say the extension will create jobs and bring financial benefit to the region.
The report of a person in charge of the planning file concludes: “The extension of the period of occupation of holidays from 10 months to the full 12 months of the year would allow greater flexibility and/or the possibility of taking holidays in outside of the main season. It would also mean that the whole site would have the same level of occupancy allowed everywhere. It is a sustainable development because it already exists in this place. From an economic perspective, this could translate into economic benefits for local facilities during the otherwise quieter winter months. From an environmental point of view, the units are already installed on the site all year round.