The council had granted permission subject to a condition preventing occupation during January and February. The appellants pointed out that no other conditions had been imposed on the nature of the occupation and suggested that new conditions could require the caravans to be used only as holiday accommodation. A register of owners identifying their main home could be kept in accordance with national advice, they argued.
The council was concerned that allowing occupancy all year round might encourage some people to use the caravans as their main homes. It claimed that enforcing the type of conditions suggested and detecting breaches would be difficult. However, the inspector was satisfied that it would be readily noticeable to nearby residents if the caravans were occupied as permanent residences.
The potential economic benefits also weighed in favour of the scheme because it would enable people to visit the area in January and February when the park would otherwise be closed, he reasoned. In his view, the revised conditions would ensure that occupants were genuinely on holiday and staying for temporary periods throughout the year.
DCS Number 100-064-404
Inspector Paul Jackson; Hearing