Use of tourist caravans for workers' accommodation unjustified

The use of a caravan site in Somerset for accommodating local workers, without complying with a condition restricting the site to use for tourism only, has been refused by an inspector on the grounds the site was not in a sustainable location for workers' accommodation.

The appellant wanted to vary the original condition on the caravan use at the site to allow workers at the local power station to occupy some of the pitches for a period of up to two years. However, the inspector held the site was located in open countryside and its use for such purposes would conflict with the local plan policies which restricted new residential development outside of settlements. The inspector also noted the power station had dedicated accommodation bases within its own site and in a neighbouring town and held there was no clear justification for further worker accommodation for that facility in the countryside. He opined there was not the justification for worker accommodation away from shops and services in an unsustainable area where there would be a reliance on the use of private vehicles for access, even for a temporary period. The inspector concluded the proposal would not, therefore, be sustainable development.

Inspector: S Rennie; Written representations

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