A WEST Dorset holiday site has been refused permission for more than twenty extra static caravans on permanent concrete bases.

Dorset Council planning officers have ruled against the change of use application for the Manor Farm Holiday Centre off The Street which would have doubled the size of the site, taking up an existing grassed area.

The site claimed the 23 extra caravans would be sheltered from view by existing trees and shrubs and would have helped the viability of the business, but planning officers decided their impact would be ‘harmful’ to the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Heritage Coast and the village.

Charmouth Parish Council said that it had “a number of significant concerns” about the application claiming that despite the assertions that the extra caravans would be shielded from wider views, they were likely to be “a substantial and stark imposition on the landscape.”

Parish councillors said they also had concerns about additional noise and air pollution from a bigger operation at the site and feared that extra visitors would add to sewage discharges into the River Char at times of heavy rainfall.

Said the parish council: “Given the number of existing caravans adjacent to this site, an additional 23 would create a substantial community remote from the main Manor Farm facilities and therefore is likely to lead to demand for more communal services within this site. This should be planned for rather than tacked on retrospectively. The Charmouth Neighbourhood Plan covering 2021- 2035 anticipated growth of around three new houses per year; this proposal for 23 permanent, static caravans should be considered in that context.”

Dorset Council’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty officer said that the proposal would represent “both individual and cumulative adverse landscape and visual impacts”, while the authority’s Landscape Officer said the extra caravans “would be likely to harm the character, special qualities and natural beauty of the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Heritage Coast and the natural and built environment of Charmouth Parish and that it would have a significant adverse effect on wide views and vistas.”