PLANS for a restaurant, indoor swimming pool, wildlife pond, laundry and static lodge-style caravans at a beauty spot on the Dorset coast have stirred up a hornet’s nest of opposition.
There are 133 representations – the majority objecting – to West Dorset Leisure Holiday’s plans to upgrade Golden Cap caravan park.
But park owner Martin Cox says he must keep the business competitive and said the old-fashioned ‘bucket and spade’ holiday is no longer enough to attract visitors.
Ranged against him are villagers and holidaymakers who say traffic will increase and the park will become a ‘blot on the landscape’.
As well as individual protests The Chideock Society and the parish council oppose the plans which would see the park open for 11 months of the year, not eight as currently, the replacement of touring caravans with static ones, as well as a new staff car park, restaurant and laundry facilities.
West Dorset District Council senior economic regeneration officer Trevor Hedger and leisure and tourism manager Nick Thornley both think the plans will boost tourism and provide employment.
The Golden Cap and Alberion parks was bought in 1978 and 1987 .
Mr Cox said the park operates well below its potential.
He added: “Golden Cap’s location and the old-fashioned bucket and spade holiday are no longer sufficient attractions for the park to compete in today’s highly competitive tourism industry.”
But objectors say it will do nothing for residents but bring more traffic and pollution.
Visitor Richard Pring said: “I was shocked to learn that this incredibly beautiful part of the Dorset coast could be further spoilt.
Eleanor Petrie from Chideock said it would ‘threaten the survival of many small local businesses’.
Roger Carey of Chideock said it would be a ‘blot on the landscape’.