CONTROVERSIAL plans to turn a caravan site into a retirement park have been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Oakleigh Residential Park, in Clacton Road, Weeley, has submitted plans for change of use to create a retirement park by allowing the residential use of 143 caravans.

The plans would remove conditions restrict the use of the approved caravans for holiday use only.

It is proposed to create a retirement park restricted to those over the age of 50.

Weeley Parish Council object to the plans, which it said appears to be a repeat of a previous application rejected two years ago.

It added: "The site is outside the settlement boundary.

"Although it is permissible to grant planning permission for holiday use outside the settlement boundary, to allow permanent residential status on a site outside the established settlement boundary runs counter to established policy.

"This scheme does not provide for an 'affordable' housing element nor is there any suggestion of an appropriate developer contribution to support facilities in

the local area.

"It is apparent that the five year housing supply numbers in Tendring are adequate and that, therefore, no additional sites are required."

Tendring Council has received 25 letters of support from current holiday home users of Oakleigh Park.

A report said: "They state that the park is in an accessible location to reach all amenities without having to travel miles.

"It is a safe gated community for those aged 50 years and above.

"The residents are all or were hard working people that just want peace and quiet for the remainder of their lives."

The authority also received two letters objecting to the plans, citing the parish of Weeley as already being "blighted" by a disproportionate amount of unneeded and

unwanted opportunistic residential development.

It is also feared the plans would exacerbate problems that already exist along the slip road, which also serves the village hall, primary and nursery

schools, children’s play area and the Scouts’ building.

A report by planning officers said: "On balance, given the district’s current housing supply position, the relative sustainability of the site, the recent appeal decision at

Sacketts Grove Clacton for a similar change of use from holiday use to permanent residential occupation,and the council’s emerging support for meeting the needs of the

elderly, it is considered that this application can be supported."

A decision is expected to be made at a meeting of Tendring Council's planning committee on Tuesday.