Holiday park given go ahead to replace golf course with caravan pitches

The development has faced significant opposition, largely on claims that the extension and additional traffic would ‘exacerbate the existing traffic issues’.

Craig Tara Holiday park given go ahead to replace golf course with caravan pitches © Google Maps 2024

Councillors have given Craig Tara Holiday Park the go ahead to replace its golf course with almost 140 new caravan pitches.

The development has faced significant opposition, largely on claims that the extension and additional traffic on Dunure Road would ‘exacerbate the existing traffic issues’ and increase the risk of injury and fatalities on the road as a result of queuing and cars trying to bypass tailbacks unsafely as a result.

Objectors said residents would ‘bear the brunt’ of the disruption.

Since the last meeting, the applicant has proposed further measures around the traffic issue.

This includes road widening to provide an additional wide lane of carriageway extending north towards the check-in location within the site.

Planners report that this will, in effect, create three lanes for a section of the internal access and road network as well as additional emergency access points for the park.

The report said: “The third lane will allow two lanes of traffic to access the site and continue towards the check-in location providing additional internal queuing/storage for around 30 cars.

A new 1.5m wide path would connect to an existing path.

Other objections were raised about the holiday park becoming too big, concerns about crime and anti-social behaviour at Craig Tara and the loss of the golf course and green space.

South Ayrshire Council’s Regulatory Panel considered the application in February, but agreed to postpone a decision until they had visited the site.

Ayrshire Roads Alliance had initially objected to the plans, but removed their opposition once they had examined the mitigations put forward by the park.

The development proposals involve the change of use and redevelopment of an existing ancillary 9-hole golf course situated within Craig Tara Holiday Park to form an extension to this established and longstanding tourism facility.

This internal expansion of the park will incorporate 137 new pitches for caravans alongside supporting infrastructure, landscaping, accesses and road and traffic mitigation.

The planning officer’s report states: “The proposal is considered to represent an acceptable promotion of tourism and tourist accommodation and an acceptable growth of an existing rural tourism business.”

A total of 223 objections have been sent to South Ayrshire Council, none of which have been considered by planners to ‘merit refusal of this application’.

Planning officers responded to a number of questions from councillors and confirmed that talks were ongoing about planting semi-mature trees to ensure screening takes less time than it would had saplings been planted.

Cllr Cavana also asked whether the work would begin on the road upgrade before the extension itself.

He was told that there is a condition that would require the road improvements to be carried out before anyone could move into a caravan, but not the actual construction work.

The park opened as Butlins Ayr just after World War Two, before being renamed Wonderwest World in 1987. It was taken over by Haven who renamed it Craig Tara in 1999.

More than 1,400 static caravans are in the park, either for rental tourist accommodation and or owned privately.

The park currently has a licence from South Ayrshire Council allowing up to 1,457 pitches, meaning that, if approved, the number of pitches would rise above that limit.

Councillors on South Ayrshire Regulatory Panel approved the application.

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