A CARAVANING enthusiast and majority investor in Harrow's potential first camp site said it would provide a "desperately needed service" - and accused opponents of the scheme of "demonstrating the highest degree of NIMBYism".
Locals living around Broadfields Country Club in Headstone Lane have condemned the idea that 2.2 hectares of land owned by the site's operator Harrow Community Sports could become a space for 75 pitches.
They raised concerns about noise and litter disturbance, traffic problems, and the lack of amenities nearby.
But Gloucestershire-based semi-retired businessman Richard Gabriel, the majority shareholder in Harrow Community Sports, said: "Always the same people object. They even objected to the rebuilding of the clubhouse when it burned down and I suggest that his professional complainers are demonstrating the highest degree of NIMBYism."
Mr Gabriel seeks a return on the £3million he has invested over 20 years in the largely loss-making venture and is preparing to submit a planning application to Harrow Council after receiving from it the environmental scoping report that brought the matter to public attention in the first place.
The 57-year-old said there is enough demand to sustain occupancy rates of 50 per cent throughout the year - especially as the next nearest camp site in Denham is often fully-booked at peak times up to three months before.
Motorhomes and camper vans would be limited to 7m in length and he anticipated less than a dozen vehicles coming and going each day, saying it would be a far less intensive use than when 6-a-side football was played on site.
Mr Gabriel, a member of both The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: "Together these clubs have getting on for 2million members and these members will constitute the overwhelming majority of visitors to the site.
"For neighbours to suggest that these visitors will contribute rubbish to the area or compare it to a 'Dale Farm' is ridiculous and merely emphasises their ignorance of the camping fraternity.
"This site can provide a desperately needed service for our capitol city."
CAMPER VAN MAN's VIEW
Chris Winston, 61, who runs a cookery school near Thornberry in Gloucestershire, said: "If you to go Bristol there's a camp site in the middle of town and you can drop your vehicle off and have immediate access to the city.
"A site like this in Harrow would be fantastic. If you try to bring a camper van into London, there's a lack of sites, they're out of the way and they are still booked up a heck of a long way in advance.
"Camping and caravanning seems to be an increasing trend. People want the flexibility this sort of holiday provides, and it's a low-cost option.
"Sites run by two clubs are very high quality, they have security and have rules and regulations about how late you can entertain outdoors.
"They attract families and older couples without children - a real eclectic mix of people."
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