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STAMP OF APPROVAL: Holiday cabins approved

STAMP OF APPROVAL: Holiday cabins approved

Image: LDRS

Proposals for new eco-friendly holiday accommodation in County Durham have been given the stamp of approval.

Last year, Durham County Council’s planning department validated an application for land at High Hill House Farm, near Ferryhill.

This included four cabins for holiday let, a new access track, landscape works and improvements to existing access roads.

The cabins were planned for a site to the west of existing farm buildings and were intended to have a ‘low impact’ in terms of their visual impact on the landscape and disruption.

A design and access statement, submitted with the application, added that the scheme would create jobs while bringing both agri-tourism and eco-tourism to the area.

After considering all representations, Durham County Council’s planning department approved the cabin scheme on June 25, 2021.

A report from planners said the development was acceptable and met policies supporting the principle of new visitor accommodation within the countryside.

It went on to say: “The development, by reason of its size, scale mass, layout, design and materials, could be satisfactorily accommodated without unacceptable adverse impact upon highway safety, residential amenity, landscape and visual amenity, ecology, drainage and land contamination.”

According to planning documents from the applicant, the cabin development will be kept in check by a guest and site management strategy.

Cabins would be built off-site and “towed into place to rest on a local foundation and service connections.”

The development could also be reversed if required in future, with woodland returned to its natural state.

A planning statement adds: “The business will specialise in high quality holiday lettings and agri/eco-tourism experiences, allowing the visitor to determine their own bespoke blend between a peaceful secluded getaway and a full-on farm experience.

“Visitors will have access to farm life accompanied by their personal guide and can help with the chickens, animals and garden produce in the polytunnel on a daily basis and other seasonal activities and harvesting opportunities, which will increase on a yearly basis as the eco-farm is developed.

“One of the key elements to the development of this vision is the long term maintenance and planting of additional woodland areas along the escarpment and areas of re-wilding across the farm to increase biodiversity.”

For more information on the application and council decision to approve, visit Durham County Council’s online planning portal and search reference: DM/20/03027/FPA


Words: Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter

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