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New glamping pods coming to thriving eco-friendly Derbyshire campsite

today18 September 2022 1

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Plans for glamping pods on the outskirts of a Derbyshire village have been approved in a bid to boost “eco-tourism” after lockdown. The application, from Phillip and Jane Deville, would see four glamping pods built at Manor Grounds Farm in Barway, just north of Marston Montgomery.

Glamping pods have been proposed in a bid to diversify the farm’s business, with widespread success from its existing camping setup. The plans were approved at a Derbyshire Dales District Council meeting on September 13, against the recommendation of planning officers.

Jane Deville told the meeting that the site has operated as a farm for years but chose to diversify in 2018 with a five-pitch campsite to bring in a new source of income. She said Marston Montgomery is a village in which businesses work together for shared benefit. Mrs Deville told the meeting: “We are frequently told how busy the pub is with guests from the campsite, most of which dine out, and how appreciated this extra custom is.

Read more: Get the latest politics stories from Derbyshire Live

“With the support from our local community we were encouraged to look to diversify our site further and after enjoying a few glamping holidays ourselves, we decided the formation of four pods would perfectly complement and enhance our existing business. New holiday accommodation on the edge of the village will bring significant economic benefits to the local area, supporting not only the local pub but the village shops in Rocester and Denstone and the new farm shop The Shed, which is only a five-minute walk from the campsite.”

She said the pods would be of a “modest” size, have a “simple design” and blend into the area. Mrs Deville said the scheme aimed to promote environmental and eco-tourism, with bikes for hire, electric charging points and a shuttle bus to carry guests from Uttoxeter to the site.

The pods would be largely obscured from view by trees and hedges. Each of the timber pods would be capable of catering for two people and would be six metres in length and 3.9 metres in width, with four parking spaces to cater for the site.

The pods would have an open plan living and sleeping area with an en-suite shower area. Cllr Tony Morley, ward member for the area, spoke in support of the plans, saying: “This is a new business which will generate business, tourism and hopefully jobs.

“There have been 14 letters of support from the people in the village, and from a small community that is a lot. The benefit to the community and the creation of jobs and a new business outweighs the policy over amenity.

“They have agreed to run a shuttle service, if necessary, to pick people up from the bus station in Uttoxeter and will also provide bikes.” Cllr Morley referred to the key reason why council officers recommended the plans should be rejected, its unsustainability due to a lack of links to amenities.

He said that people will use cars to drive to the site even if there were existing public transport links, as they do for the current camping site. Cllr Sue Burfoot queried why officers were so dismayed about car travel when caravans were already being towed to the site by cars.

She said that the authority needed to change its policies over countryside tourism applications. Cllr Neil Buttle said: “People going glamping are using a much smaller car than people pulling two tonnes of caravan. It feels a bit less offensive to me.”

Cllr Richard FitzHerbert said: “I think this is a cracking application. We have to support local farmers and local residents of the Derbyshire Dales who want to improve their lot and improve the offer we have in the Derbyshire Dales. Unlike other applicants that we are hearing from tonight, they have gone through all the hoops in order to get there and that should be applauded.

“This would be a positive contribution, not just to the village but to the community and the general area.” Cllr Garry Purdy said the scheme ticked the three key areas of planning, on the grounds of environmental, social and economic impact.

He said: “After the pandemic we can’t discourage businesses which are wanting to grow.” Cllr Peter Slack said: “I very much welcome this. This is sustainable development. It is not taking advantage of any local residents and in fact the local residents support it.”

He said it was a “beautiful” site which can only be accessed by car, and that it was “bonkers” to say it was unsustainable. Council officers had written: “The proposal is in a remote rural location not served by public transport such that visitors would be wholly reliant on the private car to access the facility. The proposal as such is an unsustainable form of rural tourism.”

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