A caravan park in a Lake District valley has been blocked from expanding.

Limefitt Caravan Park at Troutbeck, near Windermere, applied to the Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) to add six more lodges.

But the bid by owners Parkdean Resorts Ltd was rejected five votes to four by the LDNPA’s development control committee despite the authority’s planning officer Catherine Campbell recommending they be given the green light.

Having found the plans “acceptable”, Ms Campbell, said the decision was a “matter of judgement” for the committee, which considered ten letters of objection and opposition from the National Trust, the Friends of the Lake District, the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England and Lakes Parish Council.

The development would have led to the loss of three trees yet ‘considerable’ planting of native species was planned to minimise any visual impact, the meeting was told.

James Wells, the agent for the applicants, said there was a ‘strong demand’ for the holiday park and it represented only a ‘small extension’ within the existing boundary.

He said it was well-screened, the lodges would have wood-cladding, and it was sustainable tourism development in accordance with policies.
Park member Louise Waterhouse, of Troutbeck, pointed out that there were 15 properties for sale on a website.

She said: “Why do you want to put more on if there’s such an excess property market already? There would be a removal of trees and over the years various owners have removed trees and they have never been replaced. The light pollution is a very big problem.”

Member Mark Kidd, of Staveley, said he had concerns about the landscape impact.

“It does have, in my opinion, some harm to public views. It’s right at the bottom of the valley and would show up from most of the viewpoints,” he said.

Judith Derbyshire, of Stainton, Penrith, said the site had ‘got bigger and bigger’ and added: “At some point, you have to say that’s big enough.”
However, committee chairman Geoff Davies, of Braithwaite, said he could not support a refusal.

Mr Davies said: “On the whole, if we refuse this application what we are actually refusing is the existing decisions that have been made that have led to what was described as an unwelcome site.”

The committee narrowly voted to refuse the application.

David McGowan, the national park’s head of development, said: “The majority of members have found the impact to be more harmful than we did in our assessment where we felt it was outweighed by the benefits.”