Farmer gets go-ahead for couples-only 'Hobbit' holiday pods
- Credit: Luke Paterson
A Norfolk landowner is creating three new 'couple retreats' next to a nature reserve after getting planning despite objections.
Luke Paterson is now starting work on his latest venture to create new luxurious accommodation on a parcel of his land which borders a conservation area known as Redbeck, near Dilham.
It's situated a kilometre away from Mr Paterson's glamping site of 10 pods at Tonnage Bridge which he installed three years ago. Such is the design of the pods, they resemble the home of Bilbo Baggins in Tolkien's The Hobbit.
The new pods will offer king-size beds and even more luxurious facilities such as power showers and quartz work surfaces but with no pets allowed.
But the main appeal is offering accommodation that's 'at home with nature' because of its superb setting.
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He said: "I was very lucky to get planning permission because the recommendation was for it to be refused. But it was mentioned that how can farmers diversify if we can't have three pods on our land.
"We've now got the bases in and I'm now looking at logos and branding."
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Mr Paterson launched the first glamping scheme to diversify from farming in view of losing funds from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) as a result of Brexit.
He's hoping to get the new pods finished by March with booking available, via a new website launching next week, from May, subject to lockdown easing.
Planners at the Broads Authority had recommended, despite Mr Paterson reducing the number of new pods from five for four people to just three for two people, that the scheme should be refused.
This was based on the fact that nearby land is designated as SSI, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and planners had stated the pods would have a detrimental effect. They recommended refusal, saying: "The landscape character of the site would permanently change and the effect on the wider landscape character area would be significantly detrimental to the tranquil nature and the special qualities of the Broads."
However, members ruled against the recommendation, and planning was granted.