Couple will fight council decision to reject caravan park at Manton

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A husband and wife who saw their plan to create a caravan park rejected by councillors have vowed to appeal the decision.

Leon and Rebecca Bissonnet, from Edith Weston, applied to change the use of land to the rear of the cemetery in Cemetery Lane, Manton, from agricultural to a camping and caravan site.

But the couple’s plans were refused by Rutland County Council’s development and licensing committee on Tuesday.

Mr Bissonnet said: “My initial reaction is disappointment.

““We put nearly two years’ work into this and it’s a shame we couldn’t find a way forward at this point.

“Hopefully we will be able to find a suitable compromise to carry it forward because we have invested time and money into this venture.”

The site would have had 20 pitches for touring caravans and 20 camping pitches.

Councillors voted to reject the plans because of concerns over the impact the increase in large vehicles using Cemetery Lane would have on cyclists and pedestrians.

Council planning officers had recommended the application be refused, saying larger vehicles and those towing caravans could put pedestrians at risk.

But Mr Bissonnet was not convinced the caravan park would cause too many problems.

He said: “I worked at a caravan park for 10 years. It would not create the continuous traffic that councillors presume it would.

“I am willing to shut the park or prohibit the movement of vehicles at certain times of the year if it gets too busy.”

The couple plan to appeal the decision and hope to find a middle ground with the council.

Mr Bissonnet said there was a need for the park to give the growing number of visitors to Rutland somewhere to stay.

He added: “Camping is on the rise and the number of people visiting the county is up, so this is a legitimate business.

“The whole idea is to keep it local. We want to sell local produce, host things for Manton village and hire it out for events at a reasonable price.

“It was pleasing to see some of the councillors had read the brief and were quite for the development, but they couldn’t see a way past the highways issues.”