Sadly, yet again a development seems to be proving controversial in terms of how it may affect caravanning facilities.
BBC News* has reported that a major battle is brewing in the town of Jedburgh in the Scottish borders, over plans to develop a currently defunct factory site into a major retail outlet / supermarket.
This, of course, is one of the major nightmares for site owners and particularly static caravan owners.
Whether caravanners are using touring caravans or statics, they typically enjoy getting away from it all and may not relish the prospect of using a site that appears to be on the edge of a major and busy complex of any sort, be it retail, industrial or anything else.
For site owners, suddenly finding a major development on their doorstep may prove to be a veritable financial disaster as some visitors may simply look elsewhere for their pitches. This sort of thing is typically not something that may be easily covered by any form of caravan insurance.
No doubt, developments are needed and the world changes – that is in the nature of things and nothing can be frozen in time. In this case, the full facts are not clear and no doubt there are pros and cons to the proposed development (in fact, the news item states that the local council have received as many letters for the development as they have against it).
In other words, there is no attempt here to take sides or form a judgement as to the merits of the proposition.
However, what can’t be disputed is the very real negative impact that approval of some planning requests may have on caravan sites in an area.
This seems to be a pity. Caravanning is a huge leisure industry and some official bodies are constantly encouraging caravan site owners to do more to develop their sites so as to encourage ever more staycations.
Some site owners may find it difficult to respond enthusiastically to such calls if they fear that their investment may be undermined by subsequent investments.
In some cases, out-of-town developments seem to be the norm and subject to rubber-stamp type approvals. For decades, people have been asking why urban sites are not developed more and why we keep intruding upon the green belt and surrounding countryside.
It is a question that may be particularly pertinent to site and static owners located on the edge of towns.