Removal of holiday restriction flood risk threat

The owners of a holiday chalet park in Lincolnshire have failed in a bid to remove a condition which restricted their occupation to certain months of the year.

The disputed condition stated that no unit of accommodation should be occupied for at least eight consecutive weeks during the months of November to March in order to ensure that they were used for holiday purposes only. In support of retaining the condition the council stated that the site lay within flood zone 3a and there was a risk that the sea defences could be breached such that the site could be flooded to a depth of between one and two metres. In response the appellant stated that the existing condition covered only a small part of the flood risk period and flood evacuation measures would mitigate any residual risk. Evacuation drills and practices including designated escape routes and flood wardens would be provided, with many members of the watch team also belonging to the local yacht club.

Even with the existing sea defences in place the probability of flooding was high, the inspector held. Given the predicted force, speed and depth of flooding and the fact that the chalets were single storey, residents would be placed in considerable danger and the proposal would lead to additional burdens on emergency services. In addition, it could materially alter the design and appearance of the chalet park which had been designated as a conservation area. The site was an early 20th century example of a holiday park laid out in an irregular manner with chalets of lightweight construction and design. Full-time occupancy of the units would increase the pressure for domestic alterations such as UPVC window, gutter and roof replacements together with domestic paraphernalia. Whilst the harm would be less than substantial it was a further factor against allowing the appeal.

Inspector: Mark Caine; Hearing

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