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Water park clubhouse extension bid torpedoed at appeal

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New Forest Water Park in North Gorley, between Ringwood and Fordingbridge
New Forest Water Park in North Gorley, between Ringwood and Fordingbridge

A PLANNING inspector has torpedoed an appeal by the New Forest Water Park against the refusal of plans to extend its clubhouse.

Mark Jury, director of the popular facility off Ringwood Road, between Ringwood and Fordingbridge, wanted to develop the clubhouse – to the west of the middle of the three Hucklestone Lakes – to host a lounge, meeting room, more offices, a kitchen and storeroom.

A revised bid from an earlier rejected proposal to update the clubhouse building and provide accommodation for the site’s fishery manager, it had already been thrown out by 16 votes to three at New Forest District Council’s planning committee.

Deciding the appeal, the inspector noted the applicant’s claim the proposed 60% increase in floor space arose because his two grown-up children were living at home and were now paid managers in the business.

But an “essential need” for the extended family to live on the site in connection with the operation of the business had “not been demonstrated”, the inspector said.

If approved, the plan would cause increased traffic movements “to and from the site by private motor vehicles”, the inspector added.

The proposed extension, the inspector continued, would cause a “disproportionate enlargement” that would appear “unduly bulky”.

In conclusion, the inspector said the site was not a suitable location for additional residential accommodation and the extension would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the host property and the wider surrounding area.

The inspector also threw out a claim by Mr Jury that NFDC should pay his costs in full because it acted unreasonably and caused him unnecessary or wasted expense.

NFDC was “entitled to refuse the application” and defend the appeal, the inspector asserted.

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