A DEVELOPER has admitted defeat in its bid to convert a historic holiday site in the countryside between Frensham and Churt into a permanent caravan site.

RoyaleLife, which claims to be the UK leader in bungalow living, has announced it is going to rent out luxury lodges at Symondstone Farm, off Symondstone Lane, as short term holiday lets only.

It follows a bitter three-year battle between the owners of the site and nearby residents, the latter upset that an influx of homeowners could overload local roads and infrastructure.

RoyaleLife’s latest application for ‘permanent human habitation’ at the site was rejected by East Hampshire District Council in February.

The company’s operations director Emma Smith said: “We accept there has been some resistance to selling permanent residential homes, or indeed homes on 12 month licenses for holiday makers, and we very much respect the opinions of local residents. With that in mind we are now going to transform the location into a park for luxury lodges which will be rented on short term lets on a weekly basis so holiday makers can use this wonderful location.”

She added work will start soon on removing the current homes and over the next two years luxury lodges will be placed on the site.

The Symondstone Conservation Action Group (SCAG) welcomed the news, with a spokesman adding the group “is not, and never has been, opposed to holiday caravan use of the site”.

The spokesman continued: “SCAG will continue to monitor future development of the site to ensure it conforms with the law and the planning permission pertaining to the site and to ensure that there is neither undue intensification of the use of the site nor adverse impacts on the environment and the surrounding area.”