90 Static and Touring Caravans at Purn/Riverside Village

Posted on 8th July, 2017
Purn/Riverside Holiday Village Image


UPDATE 20 August 2017 - Both BPC and NSC approve the caravan site expansion with reduced 40 units.


UPDATE 13 August 2017 - £5 Million development article (on top of the £7 million in the last few years).


A new application for a "Proposed change of use of land from camp site to the siting of 40no. (previously 90no.) static and touring caravans" has been submitted to North Somerset (click on above annotated image).


Comments deadline has been extended to 9 October 2017 (previously 7 Aug 2017). Here is the link to the application 17/P/1502/F on North Somerset Council Planning website at http://wam.n-somerset.gov.uk/MULTIWAM/showCaseFile.do;jsessionid=585384A04F3A6D7048BC6D2B9FBC14D3?action=show&appType=Planning&appNumber=17/P/1502/F 


If you prefer to post your comments then the postal address is:  

North Somerset Council

Development Management

Post Point 15

Town Hall


BS23 1UJ 

If you do make comments on this BOB blog (below), please also make sure that they are made to, and appear on, the North Somerset website link as above. As otherwise they will be ignored by NSC.


Major Developments in and around Bleadon

Other Information

Major Developments in and around Bleadon Image



Purn/Riverside Holiday Village Image




Full Site View from

Purn Hill SNCI

River Ax/Crook Peak View from PROWBrent Knoll View from PROW


Full Site View incl Wake Park and 57 CaravansCrook Peak River Ax View NowPurn Pk Brent Knoll View
ProposedFull Site View Purn Dev incl Wake Pk and 57 CaravansCrook Peak River Ax View ProposedPurn Pk Brent Knoll View Dev Site


The associated press advert indicates it was advertised on 6 Jul 17. The documents published on this website state 4-5 Jul 17, yet the Consultation Expiry Date is 16 June 2017...Surely this must be a mistake for such a major application? (Deadline subsequently changed to 7 Aug 17 now extended to 9 Oct 17)


The 2011 Bleadon Parish Census states 'Total number of dwellings' in Bleadon was 530 of which only 44 were 'Caravan or other mobile or temporary structure". These newly proposed 90 caravans, in addition to others already on this site (163) and Accomodation Road (57), now total 310. If the granted and proposed units go ahead this potentially means that over third of dwellings in Bleadon will be on caravan sites, Riverside Village indeed! Without proper monitoring these temporary dwellings may be lived in permanently all year round, as is the case in many areas of the country. A massive increase, also on services in the area especially as these are granted for all year round use. 


The application proposal states "change of use of land from camp site to a static caravan site". When was this site approved to be used as a camp site? It appears that in 1995 this area was refused change of use to recreational land stating "The size of the proposed recreational area is excessive when compared with the size of the caravan park it is to serve and granting planning permission for a recreational area of this size would represent an undesirable precedent, making it difficult for the local Planning Authority to resist future proposals for associated recreational facilities on site. The proposal therefore represents a threat to the character and appearance of this open rural area.." We believe this is still the case yet BPC have no objection to this development? How can this green field be permitted to be developed with 90 static and touring caravans?


116 car parking spaces as well as bases for caravans are planned, yet apparently this application "will not increase the risk of flooding elsewhere"? Will there be any additional pollutants from the 90+ vehicles stationed here, seaping into the water table/river? As the land is being covered surely there will be additional run-off water and this will exacerbate flooding of the Public Right of Way (PROW) which already suffers from access issues due to existing sluice gate problems? The application also refers to a 'balancing pond' east of the site, how does this affect the Site of Nature & Conservation Interest (SNCI) site, being queried as seen below.


As can be seen from the annotated map above there is a PROW right through the centre of the site. BPC recently minuted "Footpath down by the river on the A370 recommends to be closed. The river has been penned and the footpath is seen to be dangerous, as the grass has got so wet there is nothing stable to walk on. The Clerk to inform North Somerset Council that the state of the footpath is dangerous." (12 Jun 17 Min 296.17.c). There is no mention as to whether this is a permanent or temporary closure, so in light of this new application we sincerely hope that BPC will ensure that this beautiful riverside footpath through green fields along the river Axe remains open. We are still waiting for BPC to respond to our requests to confirm their duties and responsibilites, but we last asked about PROWs in relation to the May 17 BPC meeting minutes, where the Village Ranger was being asked to maintain a PROW rather than NSCthereby the public potentially paying twice for the same footpath access. 

Concern over extensive landworks (including the burial of building waste materials) on the land adjacent, agricultural fields, was reported to NSC in September and November 2016 when the SNCI site (ancient Roman Sea Port/Ad Axium), known locally as The Withies, seemed to be destroyed and a new 'lake' created with a feed from/to the River Axe. Is this the 'balancing pond' site mentioned in the application? (See BLERT Blog). There is also currently an application (17/P/1515/F) for "construction of equipment store". Although the precise location is not indicated the application states that it is on current "hardstanding associated with caravan park" (so should not be related to the landworks under query to NSC/BPC) the site location plan indicates that the SNCI as a pond! There was also a massive clearance of shrubs, hedgerows and trees along the River Axe PROW affecting the natural habitat of kingfishers, water voles, swans, otters, etc. 
This appeared to all happen after the holiday park site had being granted permission last year to expand the existing 'clubhouse' again, now we perhaps know the real purpose of these works. BOB is still waiting for a response from NSC. We also asked BPC for an update in June 17 but they have not acknowledged, yet alone answered our request, probably due to their policy implementation against us, which apparently enables them to ignore any question they don't want to answer.


BOB therefore questions the Applicant's answers to 'tick box'  questions 3, 6, 12, 13 and 14.

What action was taken after the queries to NSC/BPC and how is this new application related to the landworks on the adjacent fields?


How is this application to build/use a green field site related to government statements to use brownfield sites before green fields?


See comment section below for BOB's submissions to NSC with Bleadon's Parish Plan Questionnaire supporting statistics.


For some background as to why developers continue to pressure NSC Planning please see the mapping on the Major Development page and associated table of information on BOB, including Green Belt mapping and policies/documentation.

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Comments (4)

We have a concern that residents' views as indicated in Bleadon's adopted 2009 Bleadon Parish Plan (BPP) are not being properly represented and, at a time when the green rural status of our community is under threat, Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) have not stated their 'vision' for its future. This coupled with BPCs miscommunication over how the public can interact with the planning process, and statements that there is not currently a settlement boundary/village fence, we feel has led to confusion, a false sense of security and/or resigned apathy amongst residents. The full Questionnaire, associated results and draft Parish Plan can be found at www.bleadon.org.uk/parishplan which will be easier to read there but as this plan is only 8 years into the 20 year plan we have submitted a few BPP questionnaire replies for your consideration. It seems the broad opinion is that residents are not in favour of increased large scale tourism and highly value Bleadon's environment and associated wildlife. The responses show that residents (and no doubt tourists) highly value the quality of the surrounding countryside as a 'place of scenery and the natural world' including its 'tranquility', 'openness', and a 'place for walking or rambling'. This application will affect the open green environment with views across the levels, West Mendip Way, Crooks Peak and Brent Knoll as well as the associated public rights of way and Site of Nature Conservation Interest and associated wildlife in the area e.g. bats, swans, otters, kingfishers, etc. People move to and visit Bleadon for its rural green environment which these types of application threaten. There is also a concern that these non-residential dwellings will be/are used as permanent accommodation yet will not contribute to local taxes or residential housing numbers. There is concern over increasing urbanisation of Bleadon with its associated traffic, light and evironmental pollution.

------TOURISM------Residents' response to Bleadon's Parish Plan Questionnaire Question 14 'Should Tourism development/attractions be encouraged in and around Bleadon?' Out of 461 responses only 22% were in favour. [Strongly in favour 8.242% (38), In Favour 13.88% (64), No strong opinion 14.09% (65), Have Reservations 26.24% (121), Definitely Not 37.52% (173)]. We feel that this clearly shows a lack of public support for any expansion

------ Q44:'How important is it to you that countryside is maintained between Weston and Bleadon? Out of 572 responses 97% thought it was highly significant to maintain the countryside (Very important 87.06% (498) Important 10.31% (59) Not important 1.048% (6) No opinion 1.573% (9)).
------ Q45: Our local environment is under threat, with economic and development pressures possible accelerating future change, yet it is generally accepted that a high quality built and natural environment provides the foundation for a healthy local economy and a basis for a good quality of life. Some features of the built environment are protected by law, others rely on individuals accepting responsibility for the impact of their actions. How important are the following to you? 'Impact of development on the visible landscape? Out of 476 replies residents stated that it was Very Important = 83.82% (399), Important = 14.49% (69) Not important = 1.680% (8); 'A place of scenery and the natural world?' (484 replies) V Important 80.37% (389) Important 17.76% (86) Not important 1.859% (9); 'Design, scale and 'fit' of new developments?' (461 replies) V Important 79.39% (366), Important 18.00% (83) Not important 2.603% (12);
------ Q46: The parish is largely rural with most of the land in agricultural use. Changing agricultural policies and practices, illustrated by the trend away from pasture to arable farming and farm diversification initiatives, will affect the natural environment. How crucial are the following issues to you? 1-Most 5-Least, 6-No Opinion. 'Conservation of the parish landscape character (514 replies) 1 = 85.60% (440) 2 = 9.533% (49) 3 = 3.307% (17) 4 = 0.389% (2) 5 = 0% (0) 6 = 1.167% (6); 'Woodland retention & replanting?' (502 replies) 1 = 79.28% (398) 2 = 13.94% (70) 3 = 3.187% (16) 4 = 2.390% (12) 5 = 0% (0) 6 = 1.195% (6); 'Preservation of hedges and trees?' (504 replies) 1 = 80.95% (408) 2 = 12.10% (61) 3 = 4.563% (23) 4 = 1.190% (6) 5 = 0.595% (3) 6 = 0.595% (3); 'Wildlife conservation?' (488 replies) 1 = 84.63% (413) 2 = 9.221% (45) 3 = 2.868% (14) 4 = 1.434% (7) 5 = 1.229% (6) 6 = 0.614% (3);
------ Q47 'How important is the quality of the countryside around Bleadon to you?' (550 replies) Very important = 87.81% (483) Important = 10.54% (58) Not very important = 0.909% (5) No opinion = 0.727% (4).
(Continued below)

(Continued from above) ------ Q48: 'Which elements of the countryside around Bleadon do you value?' Tranquility = 77.18% (494 replies) Openness = 67.5% (432) A place which provides my living = 10.93% (70) A place for walking or rambling = 55.46% (355) A place to ride or walk the dog = 39.68% (254) A place for fishing or shooting = 11.25% (72) A place of scenery and the natural world = 68.59% (439).
------ Q49: What do you think could be done to improve the environment of Bleadon? 1-Very Important, 2-Worth Doing, 3-Not Necessary, 4-Dont Know. 'Plant more trees?' (412) 1 = 26.21% (108) 2 = 47.57% (196) 3 = 22.33% (92) 4 = 3.883% (16); 'Cut down some trees?' (367) 1 = 1.907% (7) 2 = 10.08% (37) 3 = 81.19% (298) 4 = 6.811% (25); 'Look after woodlands (437) 1 = 55.14% (241) 2 = 41.87% (183) 3 = 0.228% (1) 4 = 2.745% (12); 'Keep hedges short and tidy on footpaths (463) 1 = 48.38% (224) 2 = 39.95% 185) 3 = 9.935% (46) 4 = 1.727% (8); 'Let hedges in fields grow naturally (394) 1 = 26.64% (105) 2 = 37.05% (146) 3 = 26.90% (106) 4 = 9.390% (37); Develop the river for leisure activities (421) 1 = 7.363% (31) 2 = 42.99% (181) 3 = 41.80% (176) 4 = 7.838% (33); 'Develop the river and Levels as a wildlife sanctuary?' (453) 1 = 32.89% (149) 2 = 55.40% (251) 3 = 7.947% (36) 4 = 3.752% (17); 'Develop the Coombe quarry as a wildlife sanctuary?' (465 replies) 1 = 21.07% (98) 2 = 57.20% (266) 3 = 14.62% (68) 4 = 7.096% (33).
------ Q50: 'Does Bleadon suffer from any of the following types of disturbance?' Traffic noise = 31.25% (200) Farm animals in gardens/on roads = 3.593% (23) Noisy visitors / residents = 10% (64) Low-flying aircraft = 17.81% (114) Noise pollution = 8.281% (53) Light pollution = 7.656% (49); 'Street Lighting outside residential areas?' (384) 1 = 26.30% (101) 2 = 16.14% (62) 3 = 15.88% (61) 4 = 7.031% (27) 5 = 34.63% (133).
------ Question: 57 Artificial lighting of premises and recreation facilities allows for increasing hours of use and improved night-time security, yet it contributes to 'light pollution'. How concerned are you about these lighting issues? Rate as 1 = most concerned to 5 = least concerned. 'Street Lighting outside residential areas?' (384) 1 = 26.30% (101) 2 = 16.14% (62) 3 = 15.88% (61) 4 = 7.031% (27) 5 = 34.63% (133); 'Urbanisation of rural areas?' (350) 1 = 53.14% (186) 2 = 16.57% (58) 3 = 16% (56) 4 = 4.285% (15) 5 = 10% (35); 'Security lighting?' (361) 1 = 26.31% (95) 2 = 13.29% (48) 3 = 29.08% (105) 4 = 10.52% (38) 5 = 20.77%; 'Light pollution (glare/flow)?' (358) 1 = 36.87% (132) 2 = 20.39% (73) 3 = 18.43% (66) 4 = 8.938% (32) 5 = 15.36% (55); 'Night working under lights?' (328) 1 = 25.91% (85) 2 = 11.89% (39) 3 = 21.95% (72) 4 = 6.402% (21) 5 = 33.84% (111); 'Illuminated signs?' (342) 1 = 24.85% (85) 2 = 16.66% (57) 3 = 28.36% (97) 4 = 7.017% (24) 5 = 23.09% (79); 'Impacts on wildlife?' (365) 1 = 54.79% (200) 2 = 15.89% (58) 3 = 15.06% (55) 4 = 6.301% (23) 5 = 7.945% (29);

------ SERVICES ------ Question: 60 Parish residents are supported by a limited range of local services, increasing the need to look further afield for supplies, service ond support. Are you satisfied with the accessibility of services?' (514 responses) Satisfied = 57.78% (297) No opinion = 31.51% (162) Dissatisfied = 10.70% (55). Apologies for submitting today but the system was down yesterday when we tried to submit this.
As you may have already seen, BOB's general observations for this application are on the post above.

Considering Bleadon's 20 year Parish Plan (adopted 2009), approximately 64% of residents who replied to the original questionnaires stated they had 'reservations' or 'definitely' did not want tourism encouraged. As the SNCI (Site of Nature and Conservation Interest) was also destroyed, which Bleadon Parish Council (BPC) complained to NSC about, it's hard to understand why BPC would have 'no objection' to this application. As Bleadon is an 'infill' development only village, hopefully NSC will be more protective of our rural environment especially as "
From NSC Corporate Plan (2015-19) "This plan is about making North Somerset an even better place by enabling people, businesses and communities to flourish. To do that we need to promote growth without compromising the things that we, and our millions of visitors, love about North Somerset: our beautiful countryside, stunning coast and distinctive towns and villages, each with their own unique character."

This site is outside the Bleadon settlement boundary and if approved will bring the total number of caravans/units in the Accommodation Road area to 310 compared to only 530 dwellings in the whole of Bleadon Parish (2011 Census) i.e. this area will be 60% as big as Bleadon's existing permanent residencies. If approved and successful this holiday park area will effectively act as an all year round residential village whose residents do not pay any local taxes, nor offer additional income to our Parish Precept (one of the highest in the area), but their visitors/residents will expect to use local services. Also with the other developments planned, this will potentially add several hundred more cars a day to the various dangerous Bleadon A370 junctions that are already being protested by Bleadon and Bleadon Hill residents .

As the caravan park has recently enlarged and enhanced its clubhouse facilities, residents may actually stay on site and may not patronise local business as frequently as implied, but the green fields will be taken away forever. It seems that tourists can already come and camp in that green field but having concrete and gravel bases for static and touring caravans and cars certainly will not improve the environmental vista for them, nor the public right of way footpath that goes through the site, which seems at odds with the park's own online brochure. The extensive landworks as part of their expansion, have already destroyed the natural and ancient wildlife SNCI habitat yet NSC seems not to have responded to the complaints made in late 2016. It's also not clear how many local residents will be employed , as opposed to those that travel to the area to work.

How does all of this fit with Brownfield sites and the national register due in December 2017? http://www.bleadon.org.uk/majordevelopments.html#LiamFoxHousing

So in our opinion, this is not only potentially bad for Bleadon residents but for all existing residents in the surrounding area who currently try to access public services, use our roads and enjoy our natural environment using picturesque footpaths. Hopefully NSC planning authorities will look at the holistic sustainable rural environmental picture and not just economic development 'tourism'.
May I ask your thoughts on the Riverside Holiday Park please?

Do you agree or disagree with the application?
What are your thoughts about the plan?
How do you think it will impact Bleadon?
Do you think it will promote tourism in the area?