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Residents celebrate as controversial glamping project near Belvoir Castle halted

Residents and councillors have said “common sense has prevailed” after plans for a glamping site near Belvoir Castle were withdrawn.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club, described as the largest of its kind in Europe, submitted plans for a 10-hectare development on land at Sedgebrook Road in Woolsthorpe by Belvoir — just outside of Grantham by the Leicestershire border.

The proposal was for 140 touring caravan and motorhome pitches, as well as 15 glamping and regular tent pitches, alongside a reception block for staff and a play area for young people.

The location for the planned site.
The location for the planned site.

Plans were quickly met with opposition from nearby residents, with more than 60 letters of objection submitted to South Kesteven District Council over the application.

Primary concerns were around the number of motorhomes and caravans the site would attract along the existing road network, with suggestions that access points were insufficient and dangerous for larger vehicles.

As many as ten parish councils across Lincolnshire and Leicestershire collectively objected to the scheme, arguing that while it is a significant development it would have “no net gain” for the local community.

How the site would have been laid out.
How the site would have been laid out.

Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of this application came when Lincolnshire County Council’s highways team confirmed its refusal, saying the authority has “serious concerns” about the traffic management plan.

These concerns were echoed by Leicestershire County Council, which also highlighted fears around highways and road access to the proposed site.

A spokesman for the Caravan and Motorhome Club confirmed its withdrawal of the plan after these responses, saying it will now “consider comments and feedback.”

Some of the designs for the park.
Some of the designs for the park.

However, the club did not confirm or deny that the negative responses were a reason behind this proposal collapsing before planners made the final decision.

Ward councillor for Belvoir, Coun Robert Leadenham (Conservative) said that if he were a “betting man” he would suggest that the “number of public objections was a key factor” in the withdrawal.

He said: “One of the factors in this type of application which the planning officer’s base their decisions on is the feedback from highways, as you know LCC Highways objected.

How the site would have been laid out.
How the site would have been laid out.

“With this in mind, and the number of public objections plus all the press coverage, they probably thought a dignified retreat was appropriate, as they knew that the application would have probably been refused.”

John Buxton, a resident of Woolsthorpe by Belvoir for over three decades and an expert in the field of motorhomes, said the application “had to be refused” based on the volume of concerns expressed by the public and other authorities.

“We expected this to happen,” he said. “Simply because there were so many of us who just could not believe it would actually go ahead.

“Ultimately I’m just pleased that common sense has prevailed. The whole thing was all out of proportion, and I think it’s been proven that this just was not sustainable for the local area.

“The community had very strong feelings on this and we knew the road wasn’t meant for caravans. It could have become an absolute death trap.”

John added that although the feelings and views of residents appear to have been heard, this does not feel like some sort of win.

“It was never meant to be a victory, as nobody wanted to stop jobs or the creation of safe environments. Not one rational person would object to a proper proposal, but this was not an example of that.”

Coun Leadenham said it is now a case of “watch this space” as to whether or not the Caravan and Motorhome Club will proceed with a re-application in the future, but confirmed that objections to future applications would “have my full support” if any fresh plans did not consider the traffic impact.

The Caravan and Motorhome Club did not comment further when asked if a future application may still happen, despite this setback.

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