Planning permission has been granted for 12 new gleaming [glamping?] pods and three new holiday lodges in the Otter Valley in East Devon.
Against the local plan and within the Blackdown Hills AONB. When are we going to focus on building a sustainable economy supporting high paid jobs? Because tourism doesn’t do it. – Owl
Joe Ives www.devonlive.com
The new facilities will expand Otter Falls, a holiday park in that already offers cottages and luxury lodges.
The accommodation will be built along with parking – including two electric vehicle charging points- landscaping, access and drainage improvements.
The development technically goes against the local plan as it is within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) which prohibits new developments there.
However, East Devon District councillors argued that any downsides of the new pods and lodges could be mitigated.
An artist impression of how the glamping pods will look (Image: : Living Outside LTD)
They granted planning permission on the condition that no light pollution arises and that the new pods and lodges will be be short enough to be mostly hidden by surrounding trees,
Cllr Philip Skinner said: “Although it looks like it could fly in the face of some of our policies, in actual fact when you look at it in the grand scale of things it really doesn’t.”
“What we’re trying to create in the AONB is an environment people can enjoy.”
Cllr David Key added that some local residents were concerned by the new holiday accommodation but said he did not think the area would be too affected by the extra traffic.
The planning committee, like all EDDC meetings, was held online as a ‘consultative’ meeting.
As the law allowing councils to meet virtually ended on 7 May, official decisions now can’t be made virtually, but once an ‘indicative’ decision is made by the council on Zoom, it passes to the chief executive or senior officers to make the final decision, although they are assumed to back whatever the committee decides.