A leading East Yorkshire councillor has backed a village’s campaign to stop “unauthorised” work by a holiday park operator to create a new, private sewer.
Park Leisure, which is constructing a new 125-unit holiday home and lodge park on former golf course land at Allerthorpe, has commissioned contractors to effectively burrow a new sewer extending through the village to a waste treatment plant on the north side of the A1079.
The move has caused uproar among many local residents who say the sewer should have gone across fields, not close to existing subterranean services, and ‘has been done without planning permission to save on cost’.
East Riding councillor Mike Stathers, who represents the Wolds Weighton Ward, says the villagers have every right to be unhappy.
He said: “It would seem that work to create the new sewer commenced without any consultation with local residents or Allerthorpe Parish Council and certainly without planning permission.
“The company has since submitted an application to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council but that is not likely to be decided until late March or early April.
“Having attended a village meeting and seen how extremely angry local residents are, I took the matter up with our senior officers at County Hall and while Park Leisure has acted without the necessary planning permission, they have effectively been given the go-ahead to continue with what is clearly unauthorised work.
“In effect, they are being allowed to carry on regardless pending a retrospective planning decision and I find that unacceptable.
“I had asked our officers to put a halt on the work pending consideration of the planning application but this was refused on the basis that no harm was being done to the environment.
“The parish council, residents and I are all understandably concerned that such work can be allowed in this manner and believe the company has ridden roughshod over the planning laws.”
Park Leisure was granted permission by a Government Inspector to develop the holiday park after East Riding planners refused the application after it had attracted objections from the majority of Allerthorpe residents. Since then, work has been carried out on site infrastructure in preparation for the park’s opening at Easter this year.
A Liaison Group consisting of Park Leisure, ERYC and parish council representatives has been formed to monitor progress.
Cllr Stathers said: “Park Leisure might have got a result this time but rest assured the Liaison Group members – and the entire village – will be watching all future work with hawk-eyed intensity to make sure they adhere to every condition relating to the planning permission.
“This is a multi-million pound, long-term investment by Park Leisure. While the village did not want the development in the first place, local residents have adopted a pragmatic approach and had hoped to be able to work together with the company.”
Cllr Stathers, who is vice chairman of East Riding Strategic Planning Committee and sits on the Western Area planning sub committee, said he hopes to meet with Park Leisure and the parish council in the coming weeks to try to ease residents’ concerns.
Pocklington Post did contact Park Leisure for a statement about the work but the company said it did not want to make any comment at the moment.