New caravan site may hold key to future of Gunby Inn pub in Skegness
A STATIC holiday caravan site is set to safeguard the future of a public house after planning permission for 30 pitches was granted.
Paul Champion, the new owner of the Gunby Inn, applied for permission to change the use of land to form a 30-pitch static caravan site, partly on the site of land used for 10 touring caravans, a new access track and bollard lighting.
The site is within an area considered of great landscape value and close to the area of outstanding natural beauty as well as Gunby Hall house and gardens.
Mr Champion told the planning committee: "This will help with the long term viability of the pub. We are looking for your support for the survival of the Gunby Inn."
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By reopening the Gunby Inn, six staff positions have been created and this will be increased by up to another five for the pub and caravan park.
The application had been recommended for refusal by planning officers because of the caravans and proposed lighting considered to be visually intrusive on the countryside.
Ward councillor Angie Smith objected to the application because of the effect static caravans could have on the area of great landscape value. She said the site would cause an amenity nuisance for local residents, light pollution and claimed the appearance of static caravans would add a suburbanised feel to the countryside.
Councillor Dick Edginton said there is a similar caravan site further along the A158 which does not cause any problems while Councillor Sid Dennis said the new static caravan would be a great asset, not affecting Gunby Hall at all.
Councillor Steve O'Dare added his support. He said: "We are being told that this development is in the middle of virginal countryside and it's not. It is right next door to a busy dual carriageway and roundabout. We are being told it will cause light pollution when the lights on the road are never turned off.
"Any harm to the environment has to be set against our economy. We have to think more than a scenic view. We have to think about the economy and people coming into our district."
Councillor Laura Stephenson added: "If this is going to bring even one more job then approving it is a good investment in our people."
Councillor Phil Kemp said the reasons for objection are easily challenged.
He said: "Let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Livelihoods are at risk here and employment opportunities."
The application was approved by nine votes to four.