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Council crackdown on year round occupancy at West Wight caravan park

Council crackdown on year round occupancy at West Wight caravan park
Council crackdown on year round occupancy at West Wight caravan park

To use an Isle of Wight caravan park all year round would be illegal, the Isle of Wight Council has ruled.

It is after owners of the Silver Glades Caravan Park in Cranmore tried to argue it could continue to use the site 365 days a year — despite a condition which prevents it from doing so.

The land, in the West Wight, is only authorised for use as a caravan and camping site from March 1 to October 31.

The owners, however, say it has been used all year-round since 1999.

Isle of Wight County Press:
Isle of Wight County Press:

No action has ever been taken against the alleged breach and now the Isle of Wight Council has said there is not enough "precise and unambiguous" evidence to confirm the site has been used all year round.

The authority has refused the caravan park a Lawful Development Certificate — which would have meant the owners could avoid enforcement action and could use the site year round.

In doing so, it means using the caravan park outside of the summer months is, and would be, unlawful.

The decision can be appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, if the caravan park owners would like to.

The council said in a planning report setting out the reasons for refusal, no information had been provided "to attempt to demonstrate" that the caravans had been occupied during the closed period.

It said the applicant's interpretation of the condition — to physically keep the caravans and other infrastructure onsite between March and October — was "incorrect" and "lacks common sense".

The authority said such a condition would have been "unreasonable and impractical".

The council said if the applicant's arguments were correct, then there was "no doubt" the caravans could be used for residential purposes because planning permission, granted in 1975, did not include conditions to restrict their use to tourism.

Permission was first granted for a caravan park on Solent Road in 1959, and included then the stipulation it could only be used from March to October.

Through a series of planning applications, the site has been extended and altered to what it is today.

Silver Glades was taken over by new owners in 2021 and made headlines in the same year when mature oak trees were felled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty without permission.