A NATIONAL holiday operator in Pagham wants to develop part of its golf course.
Bourne Leisure has applied for planning permission to install 22 caravan bases at Church Farm Holiday Village.
The company has asked Arun District Council to approve the proposal on a section of the nine-hole course at the Haven Holiday business.
The bases will generally extend in two arcs into the course and will each support a static caravan.
Associated car parking, pedestrian footpaths, an internal access road and the necessary infrastructure is also covered in the planning application.
Bourne Leisure’s planning agent, Alfred Yeatman, said in a statement the scheme was needed to enable the company to keep up with the changing needs of holidaymakers.
It had spent £60m nationally last year to provide new and improved facilities.
“The continued investment in the holiday park and the improvement of facilities will allow it to remain an attractive and competitive tourist destination enabling it to continue to deliver positive benefits to the local economy.
“The increased demand for higher grade accommodation and the price premium holiday guests are prepared to pay for (a) higher grade of accommodation/facilities has been recognised and experienced by Bourne Leisure in recent years,” he said.
“The company aims to meet the new levels of demand with improved levels of accommodation, park standards, services, entertainment, eating establishments and other facilities.”
Church Farm Holiday Village is located between Pagham Lagoon to the south east and the Pagham Harbour nature reserve to the west. Pagham beach is as close as 300m to the south west.
The tourism site off the Church Lane/Pagham Road junction extends to about 37 hectares and has 880 static caravan plots which are concentrated in a 22ha area.
The golf course of some 3.7ha is to the west of that operational area. It was granted planning permission in 2001 by a planning inspector after Arun had rejected it the previous year.
The go-ahead was subject to a pledge by Bourne Leisure that caravans or tents would not be placed or kept on the golf course.
But Mr Yeatman said: “This application forms part of Bourne Leisure’s overall strategy for improvements at the park and will set the standard by creating an accommodation area that is less dense and set within high quality landscaping.”
The landscaping will feature tree planting, shingle amenity planting, evergreen hedges, a wildflower meadow and grass.
“The golf course is proposed to be re-configured so that the loss only amounts to one hole.
“A number of further landscape works are expected to be undertaken off-site on the nearby golf course and scrubland to provide mitigation for the loss of supporting habitat,” Mr Yeatman said.
He said the holiday village’s seafront site would appear to be well defended against flooding.
This was thanks to the upgrading of the nearby flood defences in the past two years that was jointly developed by Bourne Leisure and the Environment Agency.
This achieved flood risk levels of greater than one in 200 years for the holiday park and part of Pagham village.
Statistics provided with the application show the importance of tourism to the Arun district.
The sector provided 7,200 related jobs in 2014 or 17% of total employment in the district.
Arun ranks among the top 50 local authorities in the country in terms of domestic holiday trips and spending, attracting 240,000 trips and £52m in holiday spend to rank third in Sussex.
But growth in domestic holiday trips to Arun had been more moderate compared to other local authorities in Sussex.