I object to this application and wish to make various comments relating to the implications it would have on the local area should approval be considered.
Firstly the application does not accord with North Norfolk District Councils Core Strategy relating to development in the countryside. It is clearly in breach of Policies SS2, SS4, EN1, EN2, EN3, EN4 and EN13.
The site lies within an AONB surrounded by farmland in an isolated position between settlements where any urban development would stand out like a sore thumb. The fact that it was temporarily requisitioned as part of the war effort 80 years ago does not give it a precedent for modern development. Since the site was cleared of all structures 70 years ago it has become a valuable naturalised habitat in an otherwise agrarian landscape.
The Ecological PEA statement attached to the application draws attention to the current value this piece of land has in the local countryside. The natural regeneration over the years has resulted in a mixture of scrubby bushes ideal for a variety of our native birds, more open areas ideal for plants and insects and wooded areas which contain among other things a thriving badger colony which because of the secure fencing proposed would be either fenced in or fenced out. With an ever increasing awareness of the value of bio-diversity in the countryside it is important that areas such as this are protected from unnecessary development.
Unnecessary development should concern us all but it is not obvious from a casual glance what this application is really about. We are told that it is for ‘Storage of caravans and boats, siting of 39 storage containers, siting of portable building for office use and erection of boundary fencing’. However there are many sites in the area available for boat storage out of season none of which find it necessary to provide draconian fencing, floodlighting and office accommodation.
However reading the detail in the Planning Statement and the Design and Access Statement it becomes clearer that this is no ordinary boat storage facility, it is much more. The ‘boats’ are not sailing boats they are powerboats with outboard motors and the caravan storage is for touring caravans.
It would seem that the proposal is more likely to be for a central facility that powerboat enthusiasts can operate from. The claim is that ‘The proposal will support the local tourist economy and is located to facilitate its use by tourists visiting the nearby North Norfolk Coast’ – – ‘by meeting a demand for storing caravans and boats in proximity to where they are actively used’ is clearly alluding to Blakeney harbour. The claim of supporting the local tourist economy is of course nonsense as it would have completely the opposite effect and drive away the visitors who come to the area to appreciate the wildlife and our countryside – and those visitors far outweigh powerboat enthusiasts many times over.
Blakeney Harbour is a National Nature Reserve, home to one of the most important sea bird breeding sites in Eastern England, home to nationally vulnerable Harbour Seals and the largest Grey Seal breeding colony in eastern England along with a host of other vulnerable wildlife and demands the highest level of protection.
If this application were to be approved, it is likely to result in a double disaster affecting both the AONB and Blakeney harbour as well as the local inhabitants.