Caravan wars as Hopeman site owners pledge to fight planners

MORAY COUNCILLORS WILL today cast a verdict on a successful Moray holiday park that could have serious implications for its owners.

The West Beach Caravan Park in Hopeman has seen significant investment in recent years, making it one of the most up-to-date and popular sites along the Moray coastline.

However, site owners Barry and Ruth Scott have been accused of building a static caravan on the site without receiving planning permission – an accusation they strongly dispute, with the issue concerning an area of the park they insist is already covered by planning permission.

Today members of the planning and regulatory services committee will consider taking enforcement action against the park owners, forcing the caravan to be removed unless a specific application is lodged within a month.

It is understood that a complaint from a member of the public sparked an investigation by council planners, with a subsequent visit prompting officials to reach the conclusion that the structure was in breach of planning conditions.

The complaint stated that the caravan intruded on the privacy of nearby homes – an issue disputed by Mr Scott who said the caravan only had one very small window facing that direction. Mr Scott said: “The council planning officials are trying to say it is away from the main body of the park – but there are other caravans just yards away from it.”

Indicating that if enforcement action is placed on them they will appeal, as they had planning permission for 151 caravans and so far only 124 have been put in place on the site.

The report to the meeting this morning by planning officer Stuart Dale highlighted that current planning permission stated units should be “sensitively sited”, adding: “It is considered that formal enforcement action is necessary in this instance to protect the amenity of adjoining properties in terms of loss of privacy.”