58 HOLIDAY LODGES GET UNANIMOUS APPROVAL

Plans for 58 new holiday lodges at a Paignton park have been unanimously approved. Whitehill Country Park's proposals were given the green light by Torbay Council's development management committee on Monday. The plans also included a new tennis court, cider apple orchard and the replacement of a toilet block with mobile washroom facility.

The council's report to the committee said: "It is considered that the intensification of use of the holiday camp is compatible with its rural location. The site will not be highly visible from the wider area and the addition of the orchard will further minimise the visual impact of the proposal and reinforce the rural fringe of the site. The provision of improved tourist facilities will help attract new visitors which, it is considered, will in turn provide an economic benefit to Torbay."

Cllr Chris Robson said he approved of the plans but there had been a head-on collision at the location and he wanted something to be undertaken to improve road safety. The committee unanimously agreed. Cllr Nicole Amil, Torbay Council's executive lead for tourism, spoke in support of the application, highlighting the family's proven track record.

Director, Tim Jeavons, attended the meeting and explained that the 30-acre holiday park, which currently has a licence for 66 mobile holiday units as well as camping pitches and pods, had been part of the family business since 2003, and his family had over 60 years of experience – three generations – of operating holiday parks.

"We're looking to make a significant, multi-million pound investment. We have seen a massive increase in demand for luxury caravans and lodges. We're 15 per cent up on bookings and see this trend continuing."

The lodges will be a mix of 12m by 6m units and 12m by 3.6m units and will include one parking space. The fenced tennis court will be constructed on an unused and overgrown area.