Humberston Fitties residents want to turn park into 'a lasting legacy'
THE Humberston Fitties could become "the envy of the whole east coast" if plans to develop the unique heritage spot get underway.
On the second day of the landmark hearing to discuss the future of the holiday park, members of the Fitties Owners Residents' Association Bungalows (Forab) presented their vision of how the chalet park could become a tourism hotspot, securing the future of the park for "generations to come".
But this is dependent on securing thousands of pounds worth of funding – which the council does not have – and establishing a group that is "representative for all Fitties residents" – not necessarily Forab.
As reported, the Humberston Fitties Committee have met this week to discuss whether residents should be allowed to live on the site for 50 weeks of the year rather than 44 weeks – amid Environment Agency warnings that the park is at "great risk of flooding" during January and February when the park is closed.
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Councillor John Fenty (Humberston and New Waltham, Cons) has backed Forab, but suggested a review of the flood risk after 15 years.
But following a visit to the Fitties, Councillor Andrew DeFreitas, (Park, Lib Dem) said: "I am bothered I might be part of a decision that may mean there could be a tragedy and how I would feel if I am partly responsible for that."
Forab enlisted Grimsby not-for-profit organisation Synergy to draw up a business plan using £10,000 of funding from a National Lottery grant scheme.
Claire Wollington, of Synergy, outlined their plans to the Humberston Fitties Committee, which included a heritage centre, a "Fitties Residents' Guidebook", public toilets and heritage signs.
Ms Wollington said: "One thing – whether people want the 50-weeks or not – people have all agreed on is the need to protect the character of the Fitties. That is what makes it special, that is why people want to live there and that is why we are all here.
"We want to turn it into a lasting legacy for future generations.
"Some people bought chalets based on one childhood memory that had stayed with them their entire lives. It is a magnetic place."
Ideas for how the Fitties could cash in on its unique history include an on-site heritage centre, low-level lighting and signs explaining how the Fitties came to be.
The row over whether the Fitties is at risk of flooding continued throughout the meeting, with Forab maintaining the Environment Agency's flood risk figures were "mere predictions" and not fact.
As reported, the Agency told the committee they would not back the proposals for a 50-week occupancy period – meaning the ultimate decision could go to the Secretary of State for the Environment.
The committee will now prepare recommendations for Cabinet in November.
See tomorrow's Grimsby Telegraph for more on the issue.