Dismay has been expressed by some residents of Eamont Bridge and Brougham over the proposed expansion of Lowther Holiday Park.
Two parish councils strongly objected to the planning application on the grounds of increased traffic, impact on utilities and flooding concerns.
The proposed expansion would see an extra 125 caravans for holiday accommodation, plus associated works, move on to what is currently more than 20 acres of agricultural land.
Chris Battersby, chairman of Yanwath and Eamont Bridge Parish Council, said: “In general the site is run extremely well and we’ve never objected to their applications in the past but this is just too much.”
These thoughts were mirrored by parish clerk Annette Noble, who said that an influx of traffic, often on Friday evenings, meant tailbacks make it impossible for people living in the area to get home after work.
“It’s just a bit extreme,” she said.
Caroline Fancott-Benyon, the parish clerk for Brougham, said the congestion factor was particularly important to councillors, who had complained of added strain to the already over-used route from the A66 to Eamont Bridge, which cuts in front of Brougham Hall, the B2626.
They claimed in a letter to Eden District Council’s planning team that the traffic reports presented by Lowther Holiday Park were out of date and had been created using data from 2014, before Storm Desmond, which has had lasting effects on the B6262 and Eamont Bridge.
David Bliss, chief executive officer of Lowther Estates and non-executive director of Lowther Forestry Group, said: “It’s been a difficult year for all of us.
“This development is needed to encourage business and revitalise the district.
“At the end of the day there is money in people coming to the area. What we provide is responsible management of tourists, rather than the motorhomes and fly campers — static caravans are far better.
“The business has been trading for the last 50 years and after a busy year last summer, encouraging tourism in the area is crucial to supporting other local business in the area who will benefit from increased footfall.”
He added that his team had been working closely with Eden Council to mitigate worries over traffic and flooding. For example, he said the site was a mile down a private road to keep traffic from clogging-up public highways.
He has also proposed holding water on site with an attenuation pond and said he has the full support of the Environment Agency.
However, both David and Annette had said that they have seen the field flood before.
Mr Bliss was also keen to extend an olive branch to parish councils and residents, asking them to voice their concerns to him directly to help inform future decisions. Parish councils do not have a final say on the subject but their objections have been made known to Eden Council’s planning committee.
An Eden Council spokesman said it was considering the application, but no date had been set to go before the planning committee because of some outstanding matters which have arisen from consultation