Councillors and public invited to visit Retreat

Photographs by Stewart Wall

Caistor’s Town Councillors have been invited to visit a log cabin site off Brigg Road which has been the subject of a long-running planning saga.

Owner Bill Green has applied for planning permission for residential, rather than holiday use, at Wolds Retreat, off Brigg Road.

Residential permission was refused at the 12-acre site earlier this year after an appeal inspector expressed concerns about a lack of transport options, leading to an over-reliance on privately-owned cars.

Asa and Bill Green by the Brigg Rd entrance. They have offered to build a footpath and lighting , at their expense where there isn't currently one all the way to Caistor to ensure people's safety

Bill Green and his son Asa by the Brigg Rd entrance. They have offered to build a footpath and lighting, at their expense, where there isn’t one currently, all the way to Caistor

Now Mr Green has re-applied for planning permission and wants to extend the pavement in Brigg Road to the site to provide a safer walk all the way into Caistor.

He has also invited transport companies to offer services to the lodge owners. Two bus transport providers have expressed an interest so far, he said. The planning application offers to provide a minibus service to transport residents of the park to and from Caistor.

The view through the Brigg Road Gates that most of us know

The view through the Brigg Road gates that most of us know

Mr Green said he sent the invitation to the town councillors on Tuesday so that they would be able to see the site for themselves and allow him to personally address any concerns.

Members of the local community are also invited to visit the site on Saturday, September 26, between 10am and 1pm should they wish to look around, raise any queries or find out more.

Asa and Bill Green with Rachael Bartlett talk to Shona with some of the properties in the background

Asa and Bill Green and planning consultant Rachael Bartlett talk to Caistor Citizen Editor Shona Wall with some of the properties in the background

At present, there is permission for holiday use of 60 log cabins all year round. However the occupants must have an alternative address. Mr Green is hoping to have this restriction removed to open up the site to people wishing to occupy one of the lodges as their sole or main residence.

Only about 13 plots currently have lodges on them, but all the concrete bases have been prepared, with their own water, electric and mains gas supply.

Mr Green already owns three other parks in the UK with all-year round permissions, one in Yorkshire and the others in Cambridgeshire.

“I specialise in facilities for people aged 50 or more and the parks are really popular,” he said. “Everyone gets on. They all have little groups and coffee mornings. They know next door isn’t going to be occupied by a guy who has six kids and noisy motorbikes.”

Between £1.5 and £2 million has been invested in the Caistor site  – a former quarry – since he took it on 10 years ago.

“I was attracted to Caistor because of its beautiful, peaceful location,” he said. “It was on a straight road with good visibility at the access.”

An equally nice view from the living room

An equally nice view from the living room

Mr Green, who has been running similar parks for about 30 years, invited the Citizen to tour the Wolds Retreat after his application was briefly discussed – and then deferred – by Caistor Town Councillors last week.

The access road into the site slopes gently down and most of the site is not visible from the A1084 Caistor to Clixby route. The site is well screened with trees and hedges, with beautifully trimmed lawns and a lake where lodge owners can fish. The pitches are up to 25 metres apart. There is no traffic noise.

“Most people in Caistor have no idea about what’s here,” said Mr Green. “I don’t think people realise it’s all basically done and everything is in place. We won’t be digging anything else up. The cabins can be ordered and sited within a few hours. They are all fully furnished. All you will need is your toothbrush.”

The average cost of a new log cabin is probably between £100,000 and £110,000, he said. The build-quality means the units last as long as brick-built houses.

Representatives of the Citizen were shown around two log cabins earlier today (Wednesday, September 16, 2015). One was unoccupied, the other was in use.

Both lodges were light and spacious, with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room/diner and a good supply of built-in storage space.

The site has its own electricity substation and sewage treatment plant, added Mr Green. Mains Gas is also connected to each plot.

There is an abundance of garden area with residents having their own areas

There is an abundance of garden area with residents having their own space

“Obviously we would love to have everyone in favour of the residential use,” said Mr Green. “I am hoping the open event will give people a chance to come and look around.”

Asa and Bill Green outside the site office ready to welcome interested visitors

Asa and Bill Green outside the site office

7 Comments

  1. Margarethowden

    I think it would be a good idea for people to be able to live there all year round,and bring trade into the town,Do we want business or not????

    Reply
  2. Cliff Rust

    I’ve no objection to the park becoming residential. It all brings money into the town. I really can’t understand why the appeals inspector has concerns that the residents are going to be overly reliant on private motor vehicles. What difference is there that they are occupied for holiday purpose or residential, it’s the same reliance, they’re still occupied! Any one using them knows that there isn’t public transport and if they choose to accept that then surely it’s up to them.
    Therefore, the inspectors reasoning seems flawed to me. You have a man willing to spend millions and pay for pavements and lighting into Caistor to have nonsensical objections put in his way.
    Yes, public transport would be nice along that stretch but there is no more of a problem to them as to any of other home owners who live outside the immediate town. Prior to buying any property you make your decision on things like this then either buy or look for something else. Well done that man!

    Reply
  3. musson

    I think this is a super idealistic and sensible decision to have the Wold Retreat 12 month occupancy.
    The place has been open now for a number of years and has grown into a matured well kept residential community,which should be given the chance of more people to buy a lodge and live at the park and therefore add to the Caistor village charm.

    Reply
  4. Mike Stockwood

    I fully support the comments to date, come on councillors the businesses in Caistor are crying out for an increase in footfall which should substantially
    improve if full residential status is granted to the site.

    Reply
  5. Jessie James

    So, we are allowed to build in this piece of open countryside miles from the town center but other pieces of land allocation are completely inapropriate according to most i.e. Navi Lane, Old hospital or even the proposal on North Street. After 6 months when he stops running the mini-bus and the footpath and everyone inevatably turns left to Brigg rather than Caistor once in their car and an application has gone in to fill more acres what do we do?

    As for the inspectors concerns about PLG use, it’s perfectly valid. People move into these places typically later in life. Everything is fine whilst you are fit and able and you just imagine selling when you can’t ‘cope’. But the issue is that your failure to ‘cope’ more often than not is sudden and unplanned. In this case, this would leave people isolated, becoming a ‘burden’ on family, neighbours or public services when there are far more suitable places within the locale.

    Sorry/not sorry for been negative, but once you go to 365 day occupancy you are no longer running a holiday park. This is quite simply a MASSIVE housing scheme.

    Reply
    1. Jessie James

      *footpath becomes overgrown

      Reply
  6. christine walker

    I own a lodge on the site and I would love to live there all year round.The community is really friendly and the site is very well kept.It is a pleasure to walk around and not have any litter around and I would welcome more like minded people onto the site.We already have two holiday caravan parks in close proximity,which is enough to cater for the holiday trade,to make wolds retreat residential would be one solution for the shortage of affordable retirement homes and I shop locally and use the local pub and takeaways.I bought my lodge as i could not find a suitable house at a reasonable price in this area.

    Reply

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