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Developer of mobile home site submits sewage plan for nearby stream

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The Vernon Dene site is at North Ripley, between Bransgore and Ringwood
The Vernon Dene site is at North Ripley, between Bransgore and Ringwood

THE developer behind a controversial plan to turn a former touring caravan site into a residential park for 85 mobile homes in the national park has applied to discharge sewage into a stream.

Park One Developments Ltd, which owns the Vernon Dene site at North Ripley, wants to put 54 cubic metres per day of secondary treated sewage effluent into a tributary of Sopley Brook.

The application has been submitted to the Environment Agency, and a spokesman told the A&T: “We regulate businesses that require a permit to ensure their operations do not harm rivers or the wider environment.

“Park One Developments Ltd, of Christchurch, has applied for a permit to discharge treated wastewater under strict conditions into Sopley Brook.

“We will make a decision on the application in due course.”

As reported in the A&T, Park One bought the site, between Bransgore and Ringwood, for £2.5m in 2018 and there was uproar when it subsequently emerged it planned to develop the site and could do so without needing to get planning permission.

The site is still under construction
The site is still under construction

While the near-2.6-hectare field had previously accommodated only a handful of touring caravans, it was revealed a certificate of lawful use granted to former owner Jonathan Cox by the national park authority in 2008 put no restriction on numbers.

In granting the certificate, the NPA said it was satisfied the use had been in place for a period of at least 10 years and therefore it had no grounds to refuse.

Park One Developments was then granted a licence by New Forest District Council for 86 units on site, with the NPA’s executive director of strategy and planning, Steve Avery, confirming it could do nothing to stop the redevelopment.

Mr Avery also warned while such “loopholes” existed its ability to protect the New Forest from “inappropriate development” was “seriously undermined”. He added the NPA had written to the government asking for a review of the planning legislation in national parks.

The A&T has secured a copy of the marketing brochure for the Vernon Dene development by Park One.

It says it will produce 85 “highly individual properties in a delightfully unspoilt setting located between Christchurch and Ringwood” that will combine “uncompromised modern luxury with a rare setting within the beautiful New Forest National Park”.

The bungalows will be an example of “the highest standard of single-storey living”, it adds, and are exclusively for semi-retired and retired people aged over 45.

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