Planners recommended plan for approval
A HOLIDAY park has given a £5million vote of confidence to Teignbridge as a tourist destination by signalling 'we're ready to invest'.
The owners of Coast View Holiday Park on the edge of Shaldon want to site 130 static caravans on their picturesque fields.
They believe Coast View can become an all-year-round visitor attraction for higher-paying holidaymakers attracted by the unique charms of Shaldon, and the shopping centres of nearby Teignbridge, Torquay and Exeter.
Josh Donald (pictured), director of the caravan park, said: "It's certainly a vote of confidence in Shaldon and Teignbridge.
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"We like operating in this area and we have found the local authority to be supportive of investment in the tourist market. We want to say to people come down to Shaldon for a week, it's fantastic.
"We want them to spend their money in the local area go down to the Ness or to eat at Ode restaurant. And we want to use local companies to provide the higher-end caravans. That's what we're aiming for."
A planning proposal for the scheme will be discussed next week by Teignbridge councillors.
Despite 25 objections from people living nearby, planning officers have recommended it for approval.
The owners, who have already renovated the social club since taking over in January, say the idea is to upgrade the whole park.
Mr Donald says he has a long term vision for the site which could take 10 years to come to fruition.
The company will buy perhaps 10 static caravans at a time and sell them off to private buyers who will use them as holiday homes.
Money from the sales will be reinvested to buy more caravans until the total reaches 130.
Mr Donald says the cost of the units will range between £30,000 and £70,000.
The higher spec caravans will be brought from Newton Abbot firm Pathfinder meaning much of the money invested will stay in the area.
It will take between eight to ten years for all 130 static caravans to be in use at the site.
Money is also being spent to improve the existing chalets.
Mr Donald says: "We want to rationalise the park. Currently 80 per cent of our income is generated in the six weeks of summer holidays.
"We're trying to attract a higher value customer allowing us to open all year round.
"It's not going to happen next year. We have got to get the accommodation and facilities right first.
"But Cornwall has achieved year round tourism and so can Devon. Why not go on holiday in December? The market is there.
"I'm excited by these proposals and we are ready to invest."
The proposed scheme splits the seven hectare site into five areas.
The plan is to put the 130 static caravans in three of the areas which are currently used for unlimited numbers of touring caravans and tents.
The remaining two areas of the site would remain the same. One, situated closest to Torbay Road, already has 91 chalets and static caravans.
The remaining area at the top end of the sloping site will continue to be used for unlimited camping and touring use.
One potential hurdle is that Coast View stands in a Coastal Preservation Area and an Area of Great Landscape Value.
Some people living in Woodleigh Park on the Shaldon side of the site, say caravan users would have views of their rear bedrooms.
But Shaldon Parish Council supports the scheme.
The planning committee is due to meet on October 1 at 9.45am at Forde House, Newton Abbot.