Row continues over dream lodges at Fornham Park

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A row has erupted around an application to build 26 timber lodges at Fornham Park in Fornham St Genevieve.

A planning application for the holiday lodges was granted by St Edmundsbury Borough Council in January 2006 with the condition that a nine-hole pay-to-play golf course at the site was built and brought into use before the lodges were occupied.

However, a council spokeswoman said negotiations continue as applicant Dream Lodge Group have applied to vary the planning conditions.

The village’s parish council has strongly objected to the change in plans, arguing the lodges would never have been approved without the strict conditions.

A formal objection says the condition that the golf course is built first is ‘of prime importance’ in the original planning consent and that council planners should now change their retrospective consent because of the changes.

It argues a full impact analysis of Fornham Park is needed looking onto the amended application ‘without the golf course but retraining the 26 lodges’ before any decision can be made. Tensions ran high in April last year after villagers said they had visited the Dream Lodge Group website to see it boasting that 84 lodges would be available at the site in the ‘near future’.

A resident who lives nearby wrote: “The concern is that if the variation sought is permitted, i.e the lodges are developed in advance of the nine hole golf course, there will be no requirement for the golf course to be implemented.

“The precedent for lodges will be set and expansion of the site sought.”

A Dream Lodge Group spokesman said as planning policy has changed since the original permission was granted in 2006, meaning it no longer has to be linked to a sports development, a new varied application for the site has been submitted.

He said: “ Once permission is granted, Dream Lodge will be implementing the 26 permitted units.

“Planning permission would be required for any additional units over and above those permitted in the 2006 approval and no application has been submitted for this.

“The incorrect figure which appeared on the website has since been amended to reflect the true number of intended lodge developments.”