THE owner of a thriving caravan park has said he may be forced to close if a council’s application to develop farmland into an industrial estate is approved.

Paul Craggs of Pembroke Caravan Park in Leeming Bar, North Yorkshire, said “people don’t want to stay in an industrial estate” as Hambleton District Council’s plans to create a business park, goes to consultation.

Mr Craggs, who took over running the family run firm 11 years ago, said the village of Leeming Bar “did not need any more industrial estates” as he criticised the council’s plans to “encircle” residents.

Leeming Bar, which is just off the A1M, has several warehouses that are mainly home to Froneri UK, Cawingredients and Vale of Mowbray.

Under a recent application, the council said it hoped to create further job opportunities with the conversion of around 30 hectares of unused farmland.

But plans submitted show the business park would be built on land mainly surrounding Pembroke Caravan Park, Low Street and Leases Road.

The Northern Echo:

The development would take form to the top right of the map Picture: GOOGLE

Mr Craggs said it had been suggested that the new business park could be built on the other side of the A1M, but the council claimed this would have a “visual impact”.

He added: “I am quite angry, most industrial estates tend to be where they don’t affect residents.

"It will have an impact, as far as I am concerned I am very concerned about the viability.

"If this goes ahead, people aren't going to come and stop in a caravan site in the middle of an industrial estate."

Mr Craggs said he would not have enough money to purchase a new caravan site, and said the future of his popular site would be in jeopardy.

The Northern Echo:

A campaign group mobilised against the development Picture: RICHARD DOUGHTY

Leeming Bar resident, Dr Matthew Sawyer said he did not believe the creation of the business park would benefit the immediate area.

He said: “Workers are bussed in from other areas, and the jobs that will be there aren’t the high quality jobs, that the council originally suggested.”

The Leeming Bar Action Group, set up in an attempt to prevent the development, has fundraised enough money for the creation of 3,000 leaflets advising residents of the plans.

Campaigner, Jane Harris, added: “If this goes ahead the village will be surrounded by industrial buildings. We’re doing this as a lot of people don’t know what is going on.”

To view plans visit

  • The Northern Echo has contacted Hambleton District Council for a comment