CONCERNS are mounting over a proposed caravan site in Caistor becoming the next Dale Farm.
A developer wants to open a touring caravan park for 40 caravans and 20 tents next to the former GBM scrapyard in Brigg Road.
But residents fear the site could end up like the highly controversial Dale Farm – which was an illegal gypsy site in Essex next to a former scrapyard.
Brigg Road resident Alan Pearce is worried about the planning application which has already been submitted to West Lindsey District Council. He said: “Dale Farm started as a caravan site next to a scrapyard. It’s exactly how it all started.
“You never can know what’s going to happen in the future, it’s an unknown.”
The land next door to the proposed caravan site still has permission to operate as a scrapyard and it could reopen at any time. This has led to worries the site would not attract holidaymakers.
Brigg Road Residents’ Group chairman Geoff Handford said: “If the scrapyard opened up again, it would have a serious impact on the caravan park. Who would want to stay next door to a scrapyard.”
GBM managing director Andrew Grantham has refused to deny rumours his company would be reopening its Brigg Road scrapyard - which closed last year after protests by residents about the firm’s breaches of planning control – but landowner Mark Wilkinson insisted this would not happen.
Other concerns about the proposed caravan park – set to have a cafe, shop and storage space for a further 62 caravans – include slow moving caravans pulling out onto the busy road, noise from the site and unsightly caravans being visible from the Wolds and Viking Way.
Mr Handford said: “I don’t think the chance of it turning into Dale Farm is a particular issue. The potential dangers on the busy Brigg Road are much more important.
“It’s just not the right location – it would spoil the view from the Wolds and the Viking Way and it could be smelly for the people who live next door because the waste bins and chemical disposal points are very close to their houses.
“Plus, the facilities on the site mean people would have no need to go into Caistor to buy convenience goods.”
One resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It would destroy our family life.”
But applicant Phil Manning defended his application saying he wanted to promote tourism in the town.
He said: “Having noticed the vast improvements that the Caistor residents and council members have achieved over the recent years, we have been attracted to the area and are looking forward to moving our family to Caistor.
“Having attended council meetings the emphasis has been to attract tourism and that Caistor was a tourist town.
“Our application has been designed to consider the environment, our neighbours and the type of clientele that Caistor deserves. A five star touring park would deliver the correct type of clientele.”
Mr Manning will meet with residents on Monday.