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Holiday park could be forced to scrap sports pitch

Holiday park could be forced to scrap sports pitch

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:48pm 14th August 2019.

By Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

A holiday park could be forced to rip up an all-weather sports pitch which was built without planning permission.

St Merryn Holiday Village installed the multi use games area last year but after a flurry of complaints from people living nearby Cornwall Council started enforcement proceedings as it did not have planning consent.

Now the park’s owners, Cher Varya Group, has applied for planning permission to keep the pitch in place.

The application is set to go before the east sub-area planning committee on Monday (Aug 19) and planning officers have recommended that it is refused.

In their report to the committee officers explain that the multi-use games area (MUGA) is an “area of raised Astroturf” surrounded by a two-metre high chain link fence with two three-metre high basketpall posts at each end.

But the MUGA has been built just 16 metres from the nearest home with the occupant being a permanent resident at the village.

They, along with other residents, have reported complaints about noise and disturbance as a result of the area being used for sports and activities.

As a result the council’s Public Health Protection (PHP) Service has considered acoustic assessments which have been undertaken in the area.

The report states: “The final conclusion of PHP is that the MUGA has been built too close to the neighbours and in this particular case there are no satisfactory means of mitigating the harm that is being caused by the use of this area.”

However in response the applicants and their legal representatives have claimed that there is no need for planning permission for the MUGA and have offered to put in measures to reduce the noise from the area.

st merryn holiday village

Fay Steele, who is the closest neighbour to the MUGA, said in her objection: “It has caused distress, disturbance and had a negative impact on my wellbeing due to the extreme increase in noise from the MUGA located just a few metres from our house. It goes on all throughout the summer from May to October.

“It stopped me on many occasions from getting to sleep at nights and woke me up in the mornings. I can hear it in the house with doors and windows closed and this has disrupted my plans, causing me to change what I do.”

She added that she has had “strangers trespassing on our property” to retrieve balls which have gone over the fence of the MUGA.

In her closing remarks she suggests that the MUGA should be removed and relocated.

Another resident, Mrs Mycock, has also objected saying it was causing her distress and also affecting her business as she works part-time at home.

She added: “I can no longer enjoy peaceful sunny days in my garden as there is the constant shouting, thumping of the ball against the ground and clanging of the ball against fencing.”

In a planning statement included as part of the application the applicants said that the St Merryn Owners Association (SMOA) had wanted to improve the outdoor facilities at the site.

It quotes SMOA chairman Mark Lewis: “Whilst over the years we have developed a play area for younger children there was nothing for the older children except the tennis courts (which I might add are situated nearby to residential properties). This had come up many times at the SMOA AGMs and the new five-a-side facility was commissioned in order to address this.

“I would have to say that it has probably received more plaudits and appreciative comments than any other of the improvements that have been made to the site over the years that I have been here.”

The planning statement says that the location was discussed at meetings of the residents’ association and “was considered to be the most suitable one”. It adds that outdoor sports “have been played on this site for many years”.

However residents who are objecting claim that this is not the case and say that it was more often used as a dog walking area.

The planning committee is due to consider the application when it meets on Monday (August 19th) in Bodmin.

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