Published: 06:00, 22 November 2020
| Updated: 07:12, 22 November 2020
Fresh plans have been unveiled for a huge expansion of a Whitstable holiday park as demand for staycation breaks soar.
Bosses at Alberta in Seasalter want to install 91 new caravans on land neighbouring its current site in Faversham Road as more Brits turn to UK trips during the pandemic.
Owner Park Holidays attempted last year to win permission for 143 caravans, but has revised the number down after concerns were raised about the impact on local ecology and wildlife.
There are already 332 static caravans on the current Alberta site - the majority privately-owned - and permission for 400.
The extra 91 would be installed on land opposite Lucerne Drive - next to Bridge Country & Leisure Park - increasing Alberta's capacity to almost 500.
A spokesman for Park Holidays says the new holiday homes will help meet the "huge and unprecedented demand" for staycation holidays since the first coronavirus lockdown ended in June.
“With a view to helping satisfy future demand, an additional 12 acres of land in close proximity to the existing holiday park was estimated to be capable of accommodating around 145 holiday homes with generous distancing between each unit,” they said.
"However, following detailed consultation with Natural England and the RSPB, the new reduced development of 91 holiday homes will further enhance and safeguard the local ecology and wildlife.
"The holiday homes now planned will enjoy an even greater degree of separation, and help create a spacious and attractive development for our holiday guests.
"This extra capacity at Alberta will also be good news for Kent's tourism economy, and the many local businesses which depend wholly or in part on visitor spending."
One objector, Mr Downs, says the application is not an extension of the park, but a new development on marshland which would see the loss of "valuable" open space.
He said: "We notice most of the people live in their caravans all the time apart from the short period when they have to leave because it's closed, so this will mean extra traffic even in the winter.
"This whole area is actually below sea level and to allow even more people living on what is marshland seems nonsensical.
"To sum it up, this is the wrong development in the wrong area."
To view the application, go to the city council's planning portal and search CA//19/00707.