Caravan in coastal flood zone allowed

An appeal against enforcement action directed at use of land for the stationing of a caravan for residential use within a holiday home park on the Norfolk coast succeeded.

The council’s stated reason for issuing the enforcement notice concerned whether a residential caravan increased the number of people at risk of flooding. The inspector recorded that local plan policy was unequivocal in stating that new or additional caravans would not be permitted within the tidal flood zone and the appeal site also lay within an identified coastal flood risk hazard zone and flood zone 3a of the Environment Agency Flood Maps, denoting a high probability of flooding. However, he also noted the supporting text to policy made reference to a ‘safe’ period of occupancy between April and September each year

The inspector concluded the flood risk assessment and evidence of the appellant’s clear indication that the caravan was wanted only for seasonal holiday residential use between April and September and would be removed out of season provided a material consideration of sufficient weight to indicate that a decision contrary to the development plan should be made, subject to careful control through the imposition of conditions, and that retaining the caravan would not increase the number of people at risk of flooding.

Inspector: Paul Freer; Written representations

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