A DEVELOPMENT of 60 static holiday caravans proposed for Blue Anchor seafront would be on a flood zone three site - an area with the highest risk of flooding - and should not be given the go-ahead, objectors, two parish councils and other objectors have told Somerset Council planners.

Home Farm Caravan Park, now part of Brean-based Somerset Leisure, has applied for a change of use of land from camping and touring caravans to a site for 60 static caravans for all-year-round use for up to four months at a time.

But many of the 50 local residents who have objected to the scheme warned that the land was subject to frequent floods throughout the year.

In a statement objecting to the proposal, Old Cleeve Parish Council said: “We do not believe that the benefits of the development outweigh the flood risk.”

Councillors added that according to the national planning policy, development should be directed away from areas designated as Flood Zone 3.

Making the application for the caravan park, planning consultant Michael Shepherd, of Shattock Associates, said the expansion would make the business more viable.

Mr Shepherd said: “The project involves a huge investment by the applicants.

“Home Farm is an underdeveloped tourism activity that requires future investment to reach its full potential.”

He said it would also create at least four full-time jobs and complement local tourism services and facilities.

Mr Shepherd said: “The proposal is sustainable, respects the character of the countryside and helps develop a prosperous rural economy.

“The holiday park to be created improves the quality and diversity of the tourism product available in West Somerset, brings jobs to Minehead and the surrounding settlements, and includes improvements to the landscape and the existing holiday park.”

Planners were told that the popular summertime car boot sales, touring caravans, and tents would still be accommodated in the park.

It was also estimated that the new development would only result in about 15 extra traffic movements per hour.

Old Cleeve parish councillors also objected to the design and appearance of the project, claiming it would have a detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the countryside and the landscape quality of the area.

They said: “The site is close to several dwellings that would suffer from loss of outlook and quiet enjoyment due to the proximity and height of the caravans.”

Carhampton Parish Council, which borders the site, has also objected to the scheme and claimed that the applicant had not produced a flood risk assessment although official data showed that the area was subject to year-round flash flooding.

Local objectors included Tim Taylor, former leader of the former West Somerset Council, who said: “After heavy rain, the land is usually waterlogged and covered with mud and pools of water, while the nearby River Pill can be something of a raging torrent.

“This does not seem an appropriate site for the placing of 60 static caravans.”

Jason Willersly recalled that during recent floods ‘tents were literally under water and a large diameter outfall pipe was spewing field run-off all the way to the sea, turning the sea red’.

Mr Willesly said: “This field is a natural flood-plain.”

John Jupp said: “Flooding often happens in the proposed fields with people having to be rescued two or three years ago.”

Philip Hayes said if the proposal went ahead, the development would change Blue Anchor into a large caravan park with some residential houses.

He said: “Issues such as flooding, noise, light pollution, and the lack of public transport make this proposal completely inappropriate.”

Somerset Council planning committee will make a decision on the proposal at a forthcoming meeting.