Farm has plans to diversify into holiday lodges
Stylish woodland holiday lodges are set to be built on land overlooking Morecambe Bay.
Farmer Trevor Wilson is behind the ambitious scheme to develop the park near Guides Farm, Flookburgh which he runs with his parents Edward and Ethel Wilson.
Father-of-six Mr Wilson has applied to South Lakeland District Council for permission to build the lodges which will be fully landscaped.
The proposed development, which will have views over marshland to the Leven estuary, is close to Sandgate Country Park luxury holiday lodge scheme which was opened by 80-year-old Edward Wilson several years ago and is run by his other son Philip.
Trevor Wilson, 55, said the current plan was to diversify their farming operation to safeguard the future for his children while benefiting local businesses.
He is currently building a new house at Guides Farm for his family after being granted planning permission last year.
“We have 900 sheep on the salt marshes which I work with my parents depending on subsidies,” said Trevor, whose latest addition to the family is Ethan aged just a month old.
“We want to diversify with the lodges to make the business sustainable for my family. I am not in favour of large holiday parks; this will be a small-scale sporadic development.
“We are hoping that we will get the permission to start work on the lodges while the trees are growing around the site.”
Trevor has five children aged between 24 and 29 from his first marriage. Ethan is his son to second wife Louise.
“We want to make a good future for the family while also helping the local community,” he said.
“This development will boost businesses in the area including shops and pubs. It is an exciting scheme on an idyllic site.
“If we get permission it will be compatible with traffic requirements and will be landscaped so you don't know it's there.”
Kendal-based agents for the scheme, Garner Planning Associates, say in a report to planners: “Planning policy indicates that new caravan parks will be acceptable providing there is no adverse impact on the local landscape, the local road system and other environmental considerations.
“Studies have been undertaken to consider landscape, highways and ecological issues. The scheme’s layout has responded to the landscape issues by ensuring the no units are placed on the highest part of the site and there is extensive landscaping.
“There is highway capacity and the additional traffic generation will be low. There will be no adverse environmental impacts.
“Taking all of the above into account planning permission should be granted.”
Also in support of the scheme are Kendal environmental planners and landscape architects Stephenson Halliday who report: “The proposed development also draws on the good example of the existing lodge park, by introducing woodland to screen views of the interior of the site.
“This approach recognises the importance of some views from the south towards the Lake District, and the need to ensure that those views are not harmed by the proposed development.
“In conclusion, the change as result of the proposed development would be extremely limited in extent.”
However there is opposition from Flookburgh resident Alison Coleman whose home was damaged when a crane heading for Sandgate Lodges crashed into her property in Main Street.
“Just the thought of another lodge being constructed and the requirement of a crane makes me anxious, concerned and extremely uneasy,” she said.
“I am absolutely disgusted with the total insensitivity of this request.”