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Leisure development plans for caravan park

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
Dumfries and West
Leisure development plans for caravan park

A POPULAR tourist caravan site near Dumfries is planning a large leisure development incorporating a bar/restaurant, swimming pool, and shop.

The owners of Barnsoul Caravan Park in Irongray have requested planning permission from Dumfries and Galloway Council to construct the leisure building, which would also include changing facilities, decked areas, and the installation of a substation and air source heat pump for power.

Apple Invest Ltd/Belvedere Leisure Resorts intend on constructing the building within the centre of the caravan park, and the work would be carried out in three phases.

A report produced on the matter will be tabled at the council’s planning committee next Wednesday.

It reads: “The tourism business at the site has grown and expanded since the late 1980s such that it now includes 55 touring caravan pitches, a camp site (tents), bothies and 46 static caravans.

“Other facilities have been erected to service the site including guest toilet and laundry/kitchen blocks.

“The proposal is for the replacement of the central facilities block that has been removed from the site.

“The proposal comprises the erection of a new leisure building which would include a reception, bar and restaurant, shop, a swimming pool and changing facilities and an external decked area and associated landscaping.”

The three-phase development is proposed as follows:

Phase 1 would include a reception, shop, coffee bar, toilets, storage and maintenance room, toilet facilities, internal seating area and external decked seating area. Formation of hardstanding to allow for additional external seating to allow for pop-up hot food stand.

Phase 2 would see a combined coffee bar/restaurant/bar area formed, relocation of reception, expansion of shop area, additional toilet facilities and expansion of external decked seating area.

Phase 3 would include a pool and ancillary changing facilities.

Council planning officers have recommended that the leisure development is approved, subject to conditions around parking and landscaping.

However, Irongray Community Council members are opposed to the plans and have lodged an objection with the council.

They argue that the development “would be incompatible with the character and amenity of the rural area” and would negatively impact the road network in the immediate area.

They have also raised concerns about the management of surface water and waste water from the swimming pool, however planning chiefs insist that these are not valid planning grounds of objection because these issues are managed under building regulations and SEPA legislation.