Business wants to expand park to attract more overnight visitors
A HOLIDAY park outside Newcastleton has applied for planning permission to build 17 pods to provide short-term holiday lets.
Riverview Holiday Park at Mangerton opened in 2002 when planning permission was granted to change the use of the land and part of the farm building to form a static caravan park.
Thirty-seven holiday caravan pitches were established in the upper part of the site after it was recognised that the lower part was close to the Liddel Water and potentially susceptible to flood risk.
Planning permission was
granted in February 2015 for an amendment to allow the site to operate on a year-round basis but for holiday use only.
The site has proved to be very popular with holidaymakers and, with most holiday caravan
pitches and caravans now installed, the applicant is looking to provide further holiday accommodation at the park.
There is only very limited space available and the applicant is mindful that extending the site boundary westwards towards the Liddel Water will necessitate an investigation into flood risk.
It commissioned Millar
Consulting Engineers to do a flood risk assessment of the river to determine what area of the park was still outside the flood risk area and potentially suitable for development.
The proposal shows an area of the park outside the flood risk zone which is suitable for the development of the pods.
The site is on raised land which, in part, backs on to an area of relatively young trees and towards the southern end of the site the holiday pods are interspersed within the young trees.
A proposed footpath system links the pods to an existing car park to the north of the site, to which six additional spaces have been added.
The proposal includes more native tree planting on the western side of the link footpath.
The pods themselves are
designed to blend into the background of the slope and will not be visible from medium and distant views.
Foul drainage from the pods will link into the park’s existing biodisc treatment plant and surface water will percolate naturally into the ground surrounding the pods.
The proposal is designed to be as environmentally neutral as possible.
A spokesperson for agent Montgomery Forgan Associates said: “The camping and caravanning market in Scotland is an important economic driver for the economy and is particularly important in remoter rural areas such as Newcastleton.
“The Scottish extract of a
national Economic Benefit Report on Holiday Parks and Campsites produced by the UK Caravan & Camping Alliance a year ago confirm the holiday park and campsite sector makes a substantial contribution to the tourism economy, generating nearly £780m in visitor expenditure and supporting more than 14,000 jobs.
“Visitors to holiday parks and campsites stayed four per cent longer and spent up to 39 per cent more than the national tourism average.
“These findings dovetail with the Scottish Borders Tourism Strategy 2013-2020 strategic target.”
The council’s economic
development department supports extending the holiday park to make room for the holiday pods, along with a new access road and extra car parking because it fits with the Scottish Borders Tourism Strategy 2013-2020.
It will increase the volume of overnight visitors and increase spend and ensure the region’s accommodation offerings meet consumer demands.
It will also ensure a relevant range of types of accommodation is available to meet evolving market demand and expectations.
It will identify opportunities through which better quality and new products can ‘lead’ and generate new demand.