An Angus caravan park where a pensioner perished in a horrific fire last year may be operating without planning permission.
It has emerged site owner Derek Keillor, who has lodged a new application for a residential caravan site licence, may not have planning permission for the Woodley Caravan Park on the outskirts of Arbroath.
A report due to go before a special civic licensing committee on Wednesday also reveals records held by the Building Standards Service for the last 25 years can find no Building Warrant applications.
Mr Keillor’s application will be considered along with those for three other sites in Angus.
All current caravan sites licensed for residential occupation must re-apply for a fresh licence under new legislative requirements.
Mr Keillor’s application is for a maximum of 32 residential caravans on the site, which sits off the Forfar road.
The report states the conditions on the site were generally noted to be “satisfactory”.
He owns 31 of the 32 permanent residential caravans and it is likely some will require to be repaired or replaced during the lifetime of any licence issued.
In his report, David Thompson, manager of the council’s legal team, outlines the planning history for the park.
Planning permission was originally granted for a caravan site in 1959.
In 2005 a planning permission was granted that provided for change of use of part of the site to allow the siting of static caravans.
That permission was subject to a number of conditions, and two years later a further planning permission was granted to allow the siting of static caravans.
Mr Thompson said: “I am not in a position to confirm the site benefits from a valid planning permission that provides for residential use.
“The areas covered by the 2005 and 2007 planning permissions are both subject of conditions that limit the period during which caravans can be stationed on the land for the purposes of human habitation.
“The area covered by the 1959 planning permission is undefined and I am not in a position to confirm its extent.
“It appears from review of the caravan site license history those areas of the site not subject of the 2005 and 2007 permissions may have been used as a residential caravan site for a period in excess of 10 years.
“If that can be demonstrated… then a certificate of lawfulness of existing use would be granted.
“It would appear the applicant is not entitled to the benefit of planning permission for the use of the land as a relevant permanent site.
“Discussions are ongoing between the applicant and officers regarding this particular issue.”
Emergency services raced to the scene last April when fire broke out in a caravan but, despite the efforts of fellow residents and firefighters to save the 81-year-old man, he was pronounced dead.
Attempts have been made to contact Mr Keillor for comment.