Campaign against scheme for 45 holiday lodges in Norfolk hamlet

Residents in Easthaugh are protesting against a proposed holiday park. With the posters are Paddy Mc

Residents in Easthaugh are protesting against a proposed holiday park. With the posters are Paddy McHugh and Cecilia Boycott. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

A campaign has been launched to fight against proposals for a holiday park in a rural hamlet which is home to just 30 people.

Plans have been put forward to build 45 holiday lodges at Bailey's Lakes in Lyng Easthaugh, near Dereham.

The scheme will include a lodge-style reception building and parking spaces for 100 cars.

Under the plans, the timber-clad lodges will be located around four of the seven lakes at the former quarry and entrance to the site will be off Easthaugh Road.

It is envisaged the lodges will be used 11 months of the year.

The beauty spot in the Wensum Valley is a designated county wildlife site which has attracted more than 160 bird species including kingfisher, bittern, turtle dove and osprey.

People living nearby fear the proposed holiday park would outweigh the size of their hamlet and destroy the precious wildlife habitat. They have formed a Say No to Easthaugh Holiday Park action group.

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Paddy McHugh, 67, who has lived in the hamlet for 17 years, said: 'It's going to be a total disaster. With 100 car parking spaces being allowed for, it will be a massive increase on the significant number of people who use the road already.

'It's a favourite area for walkers, horse riders and cyclists and we know from experience that when the traffic increases significantly on the road, it turns into a mud bath as it's only a single-vehicle track.

'The population of the site is going to outweigh the population of the hamlet by 10 to one and the plans show that one of the first things holiday-makers will receive on arrival is a flood emergency plans as the area is on the flood plain of the River Wensum - an emergency happening in the early hours of the morning with children and cars doesn't bear thinking about.'

Barbara Brigham, 64, who has walked around the site for 40 years, said: 'We know that something has got to happen but not on that scale. To think there will be 24/7 lighting is absolutely horrifying.'

It is understood that some reedbeds on the site have already been cleared in preparation for the planned development and foliage has been pushed to one side to create an 'existing track' mentioned in planning papers.

Mr McHugh added: 'It is turning a wildlife country park into a man-made park.'

In planning documents lodged with Breckland Council, Paul Robinson Partnership, on behalf of site owners Baileys of Norfolk, says that the proposed holiday park will generate increased visitor spend within the local economy and will create new jobs.

The agent also says the that the proposed development would enhance bio-diversity and bring community benefits.

It adds: 'The scale of the proposal is considered to be appropriate to the type of site, especially given the low density of the development.'

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