Christmas Wonderland Open!!!
Good News! The Elves have worked their festive magic and CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND will be open this morning as usual. The train and Santa too!
Had a look at the Planning Application the owner submitted back in July and according to the Statement attached to the Application he owns the bungalows on both sides. The plan was to demolish an outbuilding and part of an extension on one of the bungalows to allow the construction of a 5.5metre wide road and a 2metre wide footpath on either side. A plan that Essex Highways did not raise any objections to. The only objections raised were by the Lord family, Roger et al, who insist that they have ownership of the road and that the Garden Centre owners only have the right to use the road for Horticultural purposes, and the St Osyth Parish council who submitted pictures of a line of traffic from period of the St. Johns summer sale.
But having been told of some of the disagreements between the two parties, I think it may be more a question of finance than principle.
The original Application was in July and rejected but seems to have been re-submitted in November awaiting a decision - https://idox.tendringdc.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=OTFPZCQB0EL00&activeTab=summary
OPERATORS OF WINTER WONDERLAND WARNED OVER COMMITTING CRIMINAL OFFENCE
The operators of Christmas Winter Wonderland in Clacton have been warned that they are committing a criminal offence and risk further legal action by opening for business.
The attraction, being run from St Johns Nurseries in Earls Hall Drive, was served with a Temporary Stop Notice by Tendring District Council (TDC) on Tuesday.
The notice required the activity to stop immediately for 28 days.
Winter Wonderland closed early on Tuesday, remained shut throughout Wednesday but then opened up again on Thursday and yesterday.
Nigel Brown, TDC’s Communications Manager, said that the company is in breach of the Temporary Stop Notice and that is a criminal offence.
“The Council wrote to the operators yesterday to warn them of this fact and telling them they need to comply by closing Winter Wonderland,” he added.
“Should they not do so the Council will need to consider what action to take next. However, possible further legal action will be avoided if they close down immediately.”
Mr Brown said the attraction is currently operating without planning permission and it is therefore unauthorised – a fact that the operators are well aware of and have had a year to fix it.
“We have tried to work with them over a period of time to resolve the various issues – such as highway safety and traffic congestion – which have occurred last winter and again since they opened this year,” he said.
“However, this has proved unsuccessful and the measures required have not been put in place.”
The company have had months to submit a planning application but did not do so until October, which was literally just before the attraction opened and at a time that meant it could not be determined before the Christmas period was over.
“TDC welcomes business and events and has a good track record of doing so but safety and complying with the law is a priority,” Mr Brown added.
Essex County Council, as the highways authority, raised objections to Winter Wonderland operating under the current circumstances when it was consulted as part of the process. It felt the activity was in conflict with highway safety and caused traffic congestion.
TDC has also received complaints from local residents over the same concerns.