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July 28, 2023

KPPC has secured approval for the permanent residential use of 99 holiday lodges in Merley to the north of Poole after overcoming numerous and significant obstacles during the planning process.

The proposal was in effect for the change of use from a camping and touring caravan site at Merley Court Touring Park to a static caravan site with no holiday or other restrictions on occupancy. Planning permission had previously been given for the siting of statics with restricted occupancy.

The application received the green light after a highly challenging, six-year battle involving two planning applications with delayed determination of the first application submitted in 2017. A second application was submitted to focus the council on making a decision resulting in Councillors going against their officer’s recommendation at committee for a second.

The protracted process also included an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, the Covid pandemic, local government reorganisation, adoption of a new local plan and changing personnel at the local authority.

The KPPC team was able to use its skill, expertise and knowledge of the planning system – and tenacity built up through years of experience – to gain this approval in incredibly difficult circumstances.

They advised the client Shorefield Holidays Ltd to persevere and stand firm in the confidence of gaining the right outcome, despite clear opposition from some quarters at the council.

With its arguments, carefully considered applications and strategic approach KPPC demonstrated that there were no planning grounds to refuse and convinced BCP Council to approve under delegated powers.

KPPC sought to lift the occupancy restriction with a straightforward change of use application.

The site’s location was within the green belt and outside the settlement boundary where development is not normally permitted.

However, KPPC was able to argue that removing the condition did not affect the openness of the green belt and demonstrated a negligible loss of holiday accommodation in the context of overall provision in the area.

The application went to appeal after councillors refused it at committee despite an officer’s recommendation for approval.

A planning inspector upheld KPPC’s arguments about the green belt and holiday accommodation but dismissed the appeal overall on a last-minute, minor technical point over the nearby Merley Lane.

Approval was given by BCP Council after KPPC addressed the technicality – paving the way for enhanced use of an important site in the area.

The units are double size lodge style accommodation which will appear as bungalow units.

KPPC have significant experience and expertise dealing with development within the green belt, caravan sites and all tourism and leisure related planning development

KPPC was pleased to support the client and gain consent for this site despite the challenges involved over a period of time.

Please contact KPPC to discuss your project and any complexities involved in the planning process