Villagers have vowed to fight 'tooth and nail' to prevent the council from allowing a caravan park to expand by increasing the number of pitches from 325 to 420.

A planning application was recently lodged with Ribble Valley Borough Council proposing an additional 95 spaces be given over to Twyn Ghyll Caravan Site in Paythorne.

The site, within the Ribble Valley Country and Leisure Park is owned by Park Leisure, a tourism and leisure operator who own several other holiday parks around the UK.

The caravan site currently has planning permission for up to 325 pitches, but Park Leisure state in their application that there has been a visible need for more units due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Lancashire Telegraph: Mrs Smith says 23 of the units at the caravan park in Paythorne, Ribble Valley are currently unoccupied.

The application stated: "Demand for UK holiday parks and static pitches in particular has seen significant growth in recent years.

"This trend has been intensified by Covid-19 and appears highly likely to continue in the post pandemic recovery period.

"In response, Park Leisure is looking to expand a number of sites across its portfolio including at the Ribble Valley Country and Leisure Park.

"The proposed extension is on land that is already owned by Park Leisure as part of their existing land interests at the park.

"It is considered that the proposed development accords with local and national policy and will bring significant benefits to the local economy."

However, villagers have been left up in arms, saying it will ruin 'the beautiful hamlet of Paythorne'.

Deborah Smith who lives in the village said: "The site already has 325 caravans/lodges and they want to increase by a massive 95.

"We, the villagers, intend to fight it tooth and nail.

"Our objections are for many reasons but we invested into the area because of the rural nature habitat that it is - the picturesque vista than you see as you approach our village as you turn off A682 and onto Kiln Lane.

"We do not want to see rows and rows of cheap bright white plastic caravans, not in keeping with the area."

Mrs Smith said in the last few years, since an additional 30 caravans were approved and sited in 2016, traffic had increased on the main road through the village - what is essentially a country road with no lighting.

She continued: "I walk my dog in fear every day because visitors don’t know how to drive safely on our country roads. We have no pavements and zero street lighting.

"A serious accident is waiting to happen."

Lancashire Telegraph: The site plan for an additional 95 caravans at a caravan park in Paythorne

She also cited pollution, harm to wildlife, damage to the historic Paythorne Bridge and security as areas many residents would object upon.

She added: "The bridge is constantly being damaged - not only by the delivery of these static homes but by the increase in service vehicles now necessary for the current size of the park, how much more can this beauty spot take?

"The area has already been over developed, so why should we have to put up with our beautiful landscape being developed further?

"In 2007 when they got planning permission for further caravans, there was a condition in the approval that the total number of static units should not exceed 295 under no circumstances.

"But in 2016 they added 30 more caravans to the site and now they want another 95. Enough is enough.

"There are 23 empty pitches on that site currently - why do they need any more?

"We want to live in a small, quiet, rural area. We all moved here knowing that caravan park was there but not expecting it to expand like it has.

"If permission is granted it will mean more traffic in the area and more pollution.

"Where does it stop? If this gets the go ahead how can the council then say no to anything else?

"At some point a line has to be drawn, enough."

A meeting is being held on Monday evening at Paythorne Methodist Church where villagers will discuss how to fight the proposals.

Gisburn and Rimington ward councillor, Richard Else Sherras said he could not comment in depth on the application as he sits on Ribble Valley Council's planning committee.

But he did say the committee were aware of the residents' issues and it would be discussed in due course.

He said: "I am aware of the villagers' views and it will come to the planning committee in the near future.

"And residents can rest assured that planning officers will not rush into any decision."

Emails were sent out to all persons affected by the proposals, with a consultation period lasting until August 11.

Residents and affected parties will be able to lodge any views or objections they may have with Ribble Valley Borough Council via the planning page of the website.

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