Villagers opposing a family-run holiday park’s ambition to expand over a greenfield site have questioned if the “continued erosion of the rural landscape” will ever stop.

Residents of South Otterington, near Northallerton, have written to North Yorkshire Council to object to Otterington Caravan Park’s application to allow 60 touring caravans to be sited on six acres of grassland next to its southern boundary, off Station Road.

In a planning application lodged with the council, agents for the Atkinson family said the development would allow their “successful business to continue to meet the demands of consumers by providing accommodation for tourists and holidaymakers”.

It states: “With this proposal the applicant is responding to the current economic situation by investing in the business to increase customer numbers in response to demand for touring caravan pitches in the area.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Otterington Caravan Park, which is seeking consent to expand Picture: GOOGLE

“In meeting this demand not only is the business safeguarding its future it is also bringing additional holiday makers to the area, thus providing a source of additional revenue for local businesses.”

The application states the extension to the park would be a “high quality, low density development for generously sized touring caravan pitches”, which combined with established trees and proposed screening would have little impact upon the character of the surrounding landscape.

However, objectors have claimed the character of the village, which has a population of less than 400, and nearby Newby Wiske is already under threat following a string of developments being approved.

Residents said with 45 newly approved houses awaiting construction in South Otterington, a further 16 awaiting approval and a planning application for day visitors to the PGL outdoor centre in Newby Wiske being considered, noise, pollution and road safety issues were set to heighten.

Objectors have claimed the presence of “touring caravans and earth mounds will change the open character and appearance of this part of the countryside”.

In a letter of objection to the council, one resident wrote: “The cumulative effect of all this domestic and business traffic must be taken into consideration if a traffic management plan is going to be considered. I do not believe the existing road network will safely accommodate and manage this additional traffic.”

Another objector stated: “The amount of development in South Otterington as a whole in recent years has been vast and infrastructure is struggling to cope. There is continued erosion of rural landscape and it begs the question when will it ever stop?”

In addition, Maunby, Newby Wiske and South Otterington Parish Council said it “strongly objected” to the proposed change of land use.

A parish council spokesman said if successful the application would see the total number of caravans on site, both touring and static, exceed 200.

He added: “Initially, this area was green field agricultural land and over the past several years the number of caravans has crept up from a modest amount to nearly 200.

“It should be noted that the village of South Otterington has very little infrastructure in place to cope with the existing, approved new build and proposed 60 dwellings, yet alone an increase of visitors.”