Extension for Climping campsite approved

Marion Wright, left, Gracie the poodle, and Alison Baird
Marion Wright, left, Gracie the poodle, and Alison Baird

Permission to use a Climping field as a campsite for seven months of the year has been granted by councillors.

The three-acre site at Woodpecker Camping Field, Crookthorn Lane, is already used 28 days a year by around 40 campers, and an application was submitted to Arun District Council to raise that to 60 tents between April 1 and October 31.

At a meeting of the development control committee on Wednesday (July 11), members decided the benefits the site would bring to the local economy outweighed the loss of agricultural land.

Joint-owner Alison Baird told the meeting that businesses such as the Black Horse Pub and the Oystercatcher had benefited from the campers who already pitched up at the site, and assured members she operated a strict code of conduct.

She added that the application had been submitted to better cater for the demand for pitches, which had been brought about in part by the recent closure of the Daisyfields campsite.

Ms Baird said she found it ‘quite frustrating’ that Climping Parish Council had objected to the application.

Colin Humphris, chairman of the parish council, told the meeting he was concerned that allowing the application would ‘open the door for possible future developments’.

His concerns were not shared by the committee.

Jacky Pendleton (Con, Bersted) said: “On balance, I think this is a rural activity in a rural area, which aids tourism, which aids our economy. It’s a good use of the land for seven months of the year.”

Dawn Hall (Con, Pagham) added: “This is exactly what we need. We need to bring people into the area through tourism.”

Speaking after the meeting, Ms Baird said she was delighted with the unanimous vote to approve the application.