Illegal campsite at west Penwith beauty spot
A CAMPSITE set up in a "tranquil" west Penwith hamlet this summer has been revealed to have breached planning guidelines.
The Camping and Caravanning Club had been based at Tregaminion Manor Farm near Morvah in July and August claiming that no planning permission was required.
However, a number of residents challenged the legitimacy of the site, citing a planning order dating back to 1963 that restricted the usage of a stretch of land north of the B3306 road running from St Ives.
Resident Bruno Deroulede contacted the council about the legislation when around 30 caravans and camper vans moved in, with other residents talking of their unhappiness at the "intrusive" nature of the site.
FREE Home staging included with your 1% Commission!View details
1% Commission FREE Home staging advice http://www.kerbappealz.co.uk
Terms: Home staging advice given on instruction to sell your property
Contact: 01736 332076
Valid until: Saturday, December 14 2013
In response Cornwall Council said formal permission was not required for a period of 28 days – but it has since admitted that the site did appear to breach the 1963 order.
A council spokesperson said it was difficult to identify where the restriction applied, but said the order stipulated Morvah was indeed included in an area where the usual 28-day allowance is exempt.
"The campsite was illegal.
"It was unclear as to where the boundary lies," he said. "The campsite itself was just north of the land.
"I have been in touch with the club and the landowner – they are aware that it was unlawful use."
Mr Deroulede said he was happy the situation had been resolved, though he said the council took a long time to deal with the problem.
"I'm relieved that this is coming to an end," he said. "It took 31 days for Cornwall Council to admit that the site was illegal all along and for us it's 31 days of summer we will not get back."
Mr Deroulede said the club contacted the council about its intended usage last year, and he feels the authorities should have known and acted then.
Last week two residents, who did not want to be identified, said the campsite was an "invasion" and spoke of "serious upset" as a result of its arrival.
One said: "Morvah's beauty is in its tranquillity. We are only a small community – we are really upset because nobody here was asked (about the site). It was a shock when they started coming into the field.
"It's made me extremely unhappy," he added.
However, one farmer at Tregaminion said she was unaware of the law.
The council says it will now ensure that the situation is not repeated.
In a statement, the club said: "We adhere to the strict policies set by Natural England (a public body that plays a part in safeguarding the environment and outlines practices to organisations) when operating camping events within the UK.
"During the event application process, the club was not made aware that the area was covered by an article 4 direction (part of the 1963 order). Due to this information now being available, any future events will only be held with the direct permission of the local authority."