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Static caravanners may secure victory

After a planning row which has lasted 20 years, 33 elderly static caravan residents could win the right to stay at Clanna Country Park in Alvington all year round.

The Forest of Dean District Council have maintained that residents did not have the right to live in the holiday homes out of season, but most councillors have now agreed that the issue has been too much to bear for the elderly residents, the Forester reports.

Councillors discussed passing a motion to lift the conditions which effectively banned the static caravanners to treat the holiday homes as their permanent residences.

However, planning officers said that such a move was against planning policy and pointed out that the council had rejected proposals to turn the site into a residential one due to a projected increase in traffic.

In an address to the council, Daniel Thomas, acting on behalf of the residents of Clanna, said: “To say we’re confused with the council’s choice to refuse this application is something of an understatement. Many of us have nowhere else to go. We want to live the rest of our lives in peace and security.”

Councillor Marion Winship agreed: “The site has not been used for tourism since 1998.”

“The average age of the residents is 68 and given the average age that people in the Forest live to, that means the women will live for an average of 12.6 years and the men 7.9 years.”

Councillor Jane Horne added: “This is a social issue and these people and the council has been hounding these people for too long. It’s about time to give them peace of mind for the rest of their days.”

Most of the councillors felt that the saga should end, although Councillor Heather Dalziel argued that the Clanna residents were fully aware that the caravans were only for holiday use when they first arrived.

However, 67-year-old Ernest Small, a spokesman for the Clanna residents, said after the meeting: “I’m very surprised at the turnaround in there. We’re not there yet but I’m pleased with the way things are going.”

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