December 7 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
A Forestry Commission-owned campsite that has welcomed families for more than 20 years is to be transformed into a log cabin holiday village.
Forest Holidays LLP have been given the green light to build 70 timber cabins at the Thorpe Woodlands caravan and camping site near East Harling.
Breckland Council’s planning committee heard yesterday that the site will create 10 full-time jobs and 64 part-time roles and is expected to bring in an extra £2.5m a year into the district’s economy.
Adrian Burn, from Concept Design and Planning, on behalf of Forest Holidays LLP, said the site would provide “quality tourism”.
“We have eight sites around the UK and half of them are in national parks. We’ll make sure that no harm comes to the rare species and wildlife in the area,” he said.
The 70 cabins will range from one to five bedroom, with a maximum of 364 people staying at any one time.
As well as the cabins, a reception area, shop and café, laundry and toilets will be built on the site.
Three static caravans will also be installed for staff to stay in, with the site open all year round.
Forest Holidays LLP took on the site as part of its partnership with the Forestry Commission (FC).
The relationship gives Forest Holidays priority over other operators in selecting FC sites for development. In turn, FC has a 20pc stake in Forest Holidays.
Objections to the plans were mainly raised by users of the existing campsite.
The council received more than 70 letters of objection, with many complaining they would be priced out of using the new site having been regular visitors for decades.
Shirley Martin, a regular visitor, told the committee the development would harm the environment.
“The real disaster here will be evnironmental. Sixty-six trees will be lost due to the cabins being built and there will be more disturbance dueto increased numbers,” she said.
No objections were received from East Harling, Bridgham or Brettenham and Kilverstone parish councils.