BOSSES at a family-run caravan park are hoping to stay open for longer due to its popularity with holidaymakers.
Mark Ashton, owner of the Ashfield Caravan Park, in Dalton Piercy, has applied to Hartlepool Borough Council for permission to extend its operating period from 10 to 12 months.
The 46-year-old, who runs the popular site with his wife Andrea, 43, said opening his own caravan site had gone “10 times better” than he expected.
The site, which has can accommodate 68 caravans, opened its doors in the summer of 2008.
Mark said they currently have permission to be open between April and January but he wants to extend that to include February and March as well.
The site is currently open between April 1 and the start of November, but it does open for weekends during December and January if a booking is made.
Mark, a dad-of-two, said: “The reason I have applied is because we get people ringing us up during February and March who want to stay and we are having to turn them away.
“We are busy throughout the summer months but we do still get caravan clubs and the like wanting to stay on odd weekends during the winter.
“This would give us greater flexibility and allow the site to be open all year round.”
The site is popular with people from across the Tees Valley and east Durham but also attracts people from across the country and abroad.
He added that being close to the A19 gives holidaymakers a base to explore Hartlepool and the region.
Mark is dad to Thomas, 23, and Samantha, 21, who both help out on the site.
Mark added: “If permission is granted it will obviously help us but also bring more people into town during the winter months.
“They use this site but they visit the pubs in neighbouring villages and head into town to visit attractions such as the Hartlepool Maritime Experience as well.
“When we opened we thought there was a need for this type of site in the town.
“The town must be doing something right because people keep coming back.
“It has gone 10 times better than I would have expected.”
As well as the caravan berths there is also space for camping plots, a children’s play area, shower facilities, a games room and a bar.
The application has been submitted to the council’s planning department.