Cliff edge caravans will move inland to avoid coastal erosion

An aerial view of the coastal erosion at East Runton, taken in late 2017. Photo: BlueSky UAV Special

An aerial view of the coastal erosion at East Runton, taken in late 2017. Photo: BlueSky UAV Specialists - Credit: BlueSky UAV Specialists

A coastal holiday park threatened with falling into the sea will be allowed to relocate dozens of caravans away from the cliff edge.

The static caravans at Woodhill Holiday Park, near East Runton, are at risk because of the threat posed by coastal erosion, with recent cliff falls making the situation "critical".

Planning officers at North Norfolk District Council have approved the move, which would see some caravans moved seven miles along the coast to Kelling Heath Holiday Park, in Weybourne.

Caravans on an East Runton cliff edge will be allowed to move inland

Caravans on an East Runton cliff edge will be allowed to move inland - Credit: Thomas Horne

Both sites are owned by Blue Sky Leisure (BSL) and the work is due to be completed by the end of 2035.

While the plans have been approved, several objections were raised to the scheme, including from coastal ward councillor Victoria Holliday and several parish councils.

Ms Holliday said: "Weybourne is not geographically well related to East Runton as required in [council policies].

"I echo the community's concerns regarding the poor road access and highway safety, the impact on mature woodlands, on the wider area of outstanding natural beauty, and environmental harm from the resited caravans.”

But NNDC officers said any policy conflicts are "limited" and "justified".

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They added: "The long-term planning with respect to the continuing coastal erosion and continued operation of the Woodhill Holiday park is welcomed given the local economic benefits associated with this business."

The plans would see 40 new pitches made at Kelling Heath Holiday Park and a further 73 relocated on the western side of the Woodhill site, away from the cliff edge.

This is the second time BSL have had to relocate caravans from the cliff edge.

A previous 'rollback' scheme was used in the 1990s, with some of the threatened caravans moved to Kelling Heath.

A report to NNDC's planning department by John Long Planning Ltd said: "The situation at Woodhill Holiday Park has recently become critical due to substantial cliff falls, which has effectively reduced the operational area of the holiday park."

A coastal erosion vulnerability assessment to NNDC shows that the type of ground at the site can lead to sudden cliff slips which are “difficult to predict” but particularly likely to follow prolonged wet weather.