Land at SX 663 436, Bantham

Land at SX 663 436, Bantham

Change of use of land to surf school and siting of two storage containers (retrospective)
The shipping containers being used by the Bantham Surfing Academy

Since the Spring of 2016 two storage containers owned by The Bantham Estate and leased by Bantam Surfing Academy have been located on a supposedly 'natural plateau' in amongst the sand dunes.

The Academy, who run surfing and paddleboarding lessons, group kayaking tours and also offer surfing and paddleboarding equipment for general hire, primarily use the containers to store their surfing equipment.

The site lies outside of the settlement boundary for Bantham and is situated within the South Devon National Landscape, the Undeveloped Coast and Heritage Coast and within a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Not only are the two former shipping containers an unsightly feature within the dunes but around them, and as we pointed out in our objection, mats were strewn that were in a poor state and disintegrating, leaving the surrounding sand contaminated with fragments of rubber mat. Kayaks had been left lying on the verge, a wash down area with a water supply pipe had been installed nearby complete with garden hose, and a generator unit had been installed next to the waste storage area.

As we emphasised in our objection, the presence of the shipping containers not only fails to either conserve or enhance the South Devon National Landscape, but the development itself is clearly causing material harm to the sand dunes, polluting the area with degrading and environmentally damaging materials.

In her report the case officer agreed, concluding:

The siting of two storage containers, associated paraphernalia and associated change of use of the land to enable the continued operation of a surf school within the natural dune system is unsympathetic and uncharacteristic, and as a result of the continued presence of the containers the landscape condition of the area in the vicinity of the containers is deteriorating.

The application was refused.