A RETROSPECTIVE planning application to use land at a rural site for caravan storage has been submitted.

The plans have been drawn up for the use of land to the west of Willow Park Equestrian and Fishing Centre, at Warrington Road, in Bold Heath.

They form part of a "wider farm diversification programme" across the site.

There is an existing belt of buildings along the southern edge of the site, consisting of a house, stables and farm buildings with the caravan storage sitting at the eastern end.

There are also two fishing pools as well as pasture fields for the grazing of horses at the location.

A planning statement, drawn up by MPD Built Environment Consultants, on behalf of applicant Amy Derber, says: "The storage of caravans has taken place on this site for several years prior to the applicant acquiring the site in 2023.

"The storage of caravans particularly during the winter months provides an additional source of income to support the leisure and recreational activities which are the core business elements taking place on the site.

"Farm diversification is an important part of the rural economy and allows businesses to generate additional income from non-traditional sources".

St Helens Star: Caravans at the site Caravans at the site (Image: MPD Built Environment Consultants (St Helens Council Planning Portal))

The statement contends "that in this particular case ‘very special circumstances’ exists that would warrant to granting of a temporary planning permission for a period of five years" on the green belt site.

Plans add the applicant is "in the process of modernising and upgrading the equestrian and fishing facilities on site" which has "a significant financial cost" and "being able to generate additional income from storing caravans on site assists in being able to achieve these goals in a shorter timeframe than would otherwise be possible".

It adds "the harm that a rural caravan storage use would cause would be outweighed by a visual and highway safety gain in nearby urban areas".

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The statement adds: "The nature of the development means that traffic generation will be kept to a minimum as caravan owners will need to book in advance to use the facility and caravans are likely to remain on site for several months at a time rather than coming and going on a weekly basis.

"The location away from nearby residential properties means that the residential amenities of residents are unlikely to be impacted by the use as they are a sufficient distance away not to be disturbed and a landscaping screen will be planted to soften the appearance of the facility across the open countryside.

"As such the development is considered sustainable development and should be approved without delay".

The application is on standard consultation to the public until Wednesday, June 19. A decision deadline has been set for July 24.