Appeal to Save Croyde AONB - Frequently Asked Questions
This is CARA’s understanding of the situation and is not legal advice.
1. Why do the mistakes in the 2014 planning decision matter?
Those mistakes have assisted RUDA to establish a legal right to put caravans on land within the red line of the plan they provided to the Local Authority. That plan was labelled RUDA Holiday Park but it contained undeveloped land which RUDA owns and land which it does not. Their legal right has been recognised by the granting of a Certificate of Lawful Development for the field next to Lundy House. The precedent has been set and they can apply for more of these in relation to other land they own inside the red line.
2. If a mistake was made in the planning decision, why doesn’t the Local Planning Authority just change it themselves?
This wasn’t a normal planning decision and the Local Planning Authority can’t just change it. If they tried to change it, they would be challenged by RUDA and would then have to compensate RUDA. That leaves us with the current situation where we are taking the lead and pursuing independent legal action.
3. Why are solicitors and barristers involved – it is such a lot of money?
This is a legal matter. Accordingly, the solutions are legal ones with all the legal advice and associated costs this entails.
4. Planning decisions only usually last for 3 years so what is the problem – RUDA only have 3 years and after that the danger goes?
This is a legal matter, not a planning decision. No time limits apply. The legal right to put caravans on land within the red line will continue to exist unless and until it is successfully changed.
5. Not all of the land inside the red line is RUDA’s. The other landowners will never allow caravans to go on their fields and the land RUDA owns already has caravans all over it – so what’s the problem?
All of the land within the red line is at risk of harm – some areas more than others
A significant proportion of land which RUDA owns inside the red line, does not currently have static caravans/chalets on it. This includes completely undeveloped areas such as the green field areas behind and to the right hand side of the glamping huts, the large field next to Lundy House which runs up from Moor Lane towards the northern ridge and the playing field next to the play park behind the dunes. These areas of land are at immediate to high risk of development.
Land not owned by RUDA
No one knows what land will be owned by who in 5, 10, 30, 40, 70 years or more. As long as the lawful right to put caravans on the land within the red line exists, the risk remains.
6. What is a certificate of lawful development (CLD)?
This is not the same thing as planning permission. It provides proof that the development you are carrying out is lawful.
7. Why aren’t you going to the Secretary of State to get the CLD revoked?
The errors giving rise to the situation are in the 2014 planning permission not the 2020 CLD. See the Planning Inspector’s decision: APP/X1118/X/18/321206. CARA is following the legal advice it has been given.
8. My livelihood depends on RUDA does this action threaten that?
No. RUDA doesn’t currently carry out commercial operations on the undeveloped areas which are at risk. If CARA’s action is successful, there is nothing to stop RUDA going through the normal planning application process to apply to put caravans on its undeveloped areas. However, as with everyone else, their planning application will be subject to the applicable planning checks and balances and the usual consultation and public scrutiny.
9. What’s the point – what are you trying achieve?
We want to stop harm to the beautiful natural environment.
With the current situation, there is no restriction on the right to put caravans on the land. For example, no restriction on the number of caravans, the type and size of caravans or where and how they will be sited or landscaped. There has been and will be no independent scrutiny to ensure that environmental impacts arising from any such development, such as impact on water quality, air pollution from increased traffic, will be properly addressed. There would be if the normal planning rules applied.
Planning needs to work and be seen to be working for all: visitors; residents and business owners alike. This is clearly not the case here.
If RUDA wants to develop its land, it should have to do so through the normal planning procedures. Currently, these do not apply to the area within the red line.
10. This is just a Croyde issue – why should I be concerned?
Croyde is there for everyone – holiday makers, day trippers, local people, residents and businesses – we will all be affected by this. There are many ways that this will impact those visiting and those living or earning a living here or near here. More caravans in prominent places in the protected landscape will cause harm to the beautiful landscape, the extra cars on the roads increasing traffic issues and pollution, the impact of run off on water quality which affects our beaches and seaside activities to name a few.
11. Why is it CARA that is taking this action?
No one else was and we think it is an important issue that needs addressing.