Colebrook Lane, the unsurfaced road the society said was at risk. Photo: OSS

Colebrook Lane, the unsurfaced road the society said was at risk. Photo: OSS

Campaigners have welcomed a campsite owner’s decision to withdraw an application to develop a site in the South Downs national park.

The Open Spaces Society said Pegs and Pitches Camping’s plans at Coldwaltham, West Sussex, threatened the character of an unmade lane in the village.

The organisation also said the development would have been in conflict with the purposes of the national park and would have an adverse impact on people’s recreational enjoyment of the area and on its natural beauty and lodged an objection to the proposals.

The OSS, Britain’s oldest national conservation body, said: “In particular it drew attention to the threat to the adjoining Colebrook Lane, an unmade public road deeply incised in the landscape, the character of which would have been destroyed by making it fit for frequent vehicular use.”

The society also criticised West Sussex County Council, the highway authority, for failing to defend the route and for giving incorrect information in its submission.

Hugh Craddock, one of the society’s case officers, said: “We are relieved that the applicant has seen sense and withdrawn this damaging and controversial application.

“We hope that this peaceful part of the national park is now safe from adverse development, and that West Sussex County Council will ensure its highway officers are better informed about the management of its unsealed roads.”

Pegs and Pitches already operates two campsites at Battle in East Sussex and Haywards Heath in West Sussex.

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