DC Casebook: Leisure and Entertainment - Caravan use allowed for games workers

The retention of caravans for itinerant workers at a guest house in an Essex conservation area has been allowed in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Policies for the area provided for major development in the town, including a significant project to develop between the rear of properties on the appeal site frontage and a railway line. The inspector observed that the conservation area was limited in extent but had an interesting character. Since the caravans were set well back from the frontage, he opined that their impact on views from outside the site was limited.

He accepted that continued use of the site for temporary workers would be related to the use of the guest house itself. He considered that it would meet an acknowledged need for accommodation for itinerant workers in the area, especially in the lead up to the games. He saw no reason why an extension of the temporary period for stationing the caravans should prejudice future development proposals.

The inspector found that the scheme's contribution to specialist accommodation and hence to economic activity weighed in favour of the appeal. He was satisfied that these considerations outweighed any limited effect that the caravans had on the conservation area.

Inspector: Roger Shrimplin; Written representations

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