E-petition to save Baltic Wharf caravan site reaches over 1,500 signatures

Supporters are pushing for 3,500 votes in order to present their campaign in front of the Bristol City Hall
Supporters are pushing for 3,500 votes in order to present their campaign in front of the Bristol City Hall

Thursday, 01, May 2014 02:00

by Norah Lindsay

The e-petition to save the Caravan Club's Baltic Wharf site in Bristol, lead by local business owner , Matthew Gibbs, has reached an impressive 1,511 signatures with over three months to go until the e-petition is set to close on Sunday 31 August.

After plans exposing the replacement of the beloved caravan park by a new primary school were announced by Bristol City Council, Matthew set up an e-petition on Sunday 13 April to campaign against the council's community-excluded decision.

The popular site attracts visitors from all over the country, so it is no surprise as to the number of signatures obtained so far, in order to attempt to prevent closure of the site - a move, if to happen, described by Matthew as "devastating".

The e-petition partly reads: 'The decision was taken without any public consultation and is likely to have a devastating effect on the local harbour community, tourism and businesses.'

Award-winning and full of memories

The 2013 Bloom Award winning caravan park has sparked a lengthy debate among members of the Caravan Club's website forum, with some members expressing their frustration over the thought of losing the park they have previously visited. Others, despite never having been to the park, also continue to join the furore.

In the forum, one champion member of the Caravan Club said, "This is so sad. Our son went to uni in Bristol and we spent many happy weekends at Baltic Wharf. It's also a very popular stopover site for those heading to and from Cornwall. I'm not sure what we can do to help - but this is one of those incidents where the power of the people may help to create change."

Another member wrote, "Signed up too. Never been to Baltic Wharf, but was on the to-do list. Hope it's saved."

Spreading the word

Southville resident and e-petition starer-upper, Matthew has argued that the Baltic Wharf caravan site would be an inappropriate location for a school as the site is close to a busy main road, which is due to become busier once it becomes a route for the more public transport already planned, as well and 11-metre deep water in the docks. The site holds sentimental value for Matthew too, having visited the site frequently with his family when young.

In an interview with BBC Radio Bristol, Matthew said: "Baltic Wharf caravan site brings people to the heart of Bristol and has one of the highest occupancy rates in the UK. We're not opposing a school being built - of course, nobody would - we're saying 'why develop two sites when you only have to develop one?'

Matthew hopes the number of signatures reaches 3,500 as the total amount will enable a debate on the issue to be held at City Hall and persuade for the site to be saved.

A Save Bristol Campsite website has been created along with positively buzzing Twitter and Facebook accounts. The @SaveBristolCampsite currently has 104 followers with 75 people talking about the Save the Baltic Wharf Campsite Facebook page.

While it's still early days, with the official campaign having only been open for 19 days, the team at CaravanTimes headquarters wish the supporters the best of luck stopping the closure of such a lovely Caravan Club site.

If you wish to get behind the campaign and save the Baltic Wharf Campsite please click here and sign the petition.


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