Caravaning To Be Welcomed On The Moors

New rules for the North York National Park sites

By William Coleman

It seems that despite some long term strategies that are in place to preserve the landscape national park bosses have made it very clear that caravans will not be banned from using national parks.

Having caravan tourism can produce huge income for a local economy, so factoring your existing sites into your future plans is something everyone should make a point of priority.

This is something that Paul Fellows, the head of strategic Policy at the North York National Park Authority, is ensuring will happen.

Mr. Fellows has told committee members that the draft of the ‘Local Plan’ that was submitted to Government features some changes to policy to static caravans, rather than the beloved touring caravan.

On the national park grounds you will find a few caravan sites, which include very popular ones at Rosedale Abbey, Ugthorpe and Ladycross Plantation.

Mr. Fellows was putting out flames of concern over some of the points in the Local Plan that were raised by the authority’s planning committee chairman, farmer David Hugill, who is also a North Yorkshire County and Hambleton District Council.

Each year the authority receives between 700-1000 different planning applications to develop on the land within the national park. Each one is looked at and then the decision has to be made based on the effects it will have on the area and its surroundings.

A point was made to look into what the proposal to find out what it intended to do with caravans. The Local Plan, which has now completed examination, with the resulting outcomes to take place from October, did have some impact of the caravan world.

During the examination there had been quite a lot of speculation that there could be some rulings that may prohibit the caravan parks or areas in which you can use your leisure vehicle.

It seems as though the future is safe for caravans in the 554sq mile park as it is understood they are putting “a break on development” rather than stopping caravan usage.

According the Mr. Fellows the policy featured amendments that would prevent any new static caravans or the conversion of existing caravanning sites to static only locations. The main reason behind the ruling was concern over the visual impact of more static vans.

The forthcoming ban on new static caravans followed a finding that almost 75% of caravans and chalets in the park are not actually available for public hire and are actually being used a people’s main homes or prolonged holiday rentals. So you can see why this sort of activity would put a stop to any further development.

After the meeting Mr Hugill said, “There was a perception that caravans were no longer welcome in York Moors National Park. That is definitely not the case.”

When the Local Plan was being drafted the authority found that recreation and tourism, despite not being a huge provider of jobs, brought in around £647m of spending, 7.93m visitors and provided around 10,900 full time job a year.

It also found accommodation services is the biggest type of employment within this sector, and touring caravan and tented campsites make up the largest proportion of accommodation.

Mr Hugill said, “Caravans are very important to the local economy. Many caravan owners enjoy setting off from different parts of the country to visit the North York Moors.”