Safari tents deemed unsafe in high flood risk area

An inspector has found significant harm from a proposed safari tent scheme in a Yorkshire hamlet due to its unsustainable and isolated location, inappropriate scale in respect of its surroundings and potential flood risk for future users.

Apart from the detrimental visual impact of the eight tents spread over a large field which would out-number the properties existing in the hamlet, and the scheme’s conflict with the council’s policies on tourism development in the countryside, the inspector was also concerned about the safety of the users of the proposed camp site in times of flooding. This was because the proposed vulnerable camping use would be located in a high flood risk zone within an area designated as dangerous to most.

The inspector noted the proposal required a sequential and exception test to be applied as per the NPPF and PPG, but the appellant’s flood risk assessment only contained a sequential test looking at a very limited search area of 1.5 miles radius and even then the council argued there were better sites for the proposal. On this basis, the inspector concluded the FRA failed to provide sufficient information with regard to other potential sites which could be appropriate, preferable and available. Finally, the inspector noted that national guidance set out that land use within areas designated as dangerous to most should not include vulnerable single storey buildings without safe upper floor levels for escape in times of extreme flood and therefore the scheme would fail in this regard as well.

Inspector: A McCormack; Written representations

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