Derbyshire village celebrates ‘tremendous victory’

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A Derbyshire village is celebrating after winning a ‘tremendous victory’ over the Peak District National Park Authority.

Foolow had been living under the threat of having a new caravan park built on the nearby Brosterfield site for the last three years.

Foolow, Derbyshire.

Foolow, Derbyshire.

But last Friday - after a huge campaign against the proposals by villagers - the planning committee turned down the plan, 12 to zero.

Chairman of the parish committee, Simon Wills, said: “I think we are all very pleasantly surprised but we have had a tremendous victory.

“The fact that the committee came down so strongly on our side proves that our arguments were right all along.

“We went with a number of villagers who all had the opportunity to speak.

Campaigners against the proposed caravan park development in Foolow.

Campaigners against the proposed caravan park development in Foolow.

“They pointed out that the plan would cause traffic problems and affect our sense of community as well.

“The proposal just wasn’t right and wasn’t fit for purpose - it was totally inappropriate.”

In a statement, the Peak Park Authority admitted that the Brosterfield site has had a ‘complex planning history’.

In 1998 the Authority gave planning permission for what was intended to be a touring caravan site.

The wording of the permission subsequently revealed a loophole which meant that 20 static caravans or park homes could have been sited there.

As a result, the authority bought the site back at a cost of £650,000 - money it has been trying to recoup ever since.

They says they will now have to ‘rethink’ what to do with the site in the future but pointed out that the planning permission for it being a static caravan site remains in place.

“I think there is a bit of a threat in there but they have been on record as wanting to keep static caravans away from Foolow,” says Simon.

“But we know that there will be ongoing discussions about the site in the months and years ahead.”

But for now the villagers are celebrating and are even thinking about having a party.

“We have had this hanging over us for three years but we have had support from all over the world.

“We are grateful to them and to the community here - the planning committee could see we were united.”