Go-ahead for holiday cabins in grounds of Congham Hall

Congham Hall Hotel. Picture: Ian Burt

Congham Hall Hotel. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Controversial plans for holiday lodges on the outskirts of a village have been given the go-ahead.

Congham Hall Hotel. Picture: IAN BURT

Congham Hall Hotel. Picture: IAN BURT - Credit: IAN BURT

West Norfolk councillors on Monday deferred plans to build 19 cabins in the grounds of Congham Hall Hotel, near King's Lynn, pending a site visit.

The hotel said the proposals, which included a widened access road, new car park and spa room, would boost employment.

But villagers feared they would bring an influx of holiday makers and impact nearby wildlife sites.

MORE - Decision over holiday lodges deferredToday the planning committee voted 6 - 5 in favour of the plan, after a site visit to Congham this morning. The application had earlier been recommended for approval by planning officers.

Hotel managing director Nicholas Dickinson said he was 'relieved' after the decision.

He added: 'It's USP is its setting and the parkland so to turn this into some kind of concrete jungle, as some people think we're going to do, would kill the goose that lays the golden egg.'

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West Norfolk Green Party member Michael De Whalley said: 'The planning committee today decided, by six votes to five, in front of horrified residents, to permit a holiday let development of 11 cabins plus further hotel accommodation in the garden and parkland surrounding Congham Hall Hotel.

'Both Hall and parkland are listed as county heritage assets. The village of Congham comprises of approximately 100 dwellings. Holiday Lets have become the latest investment fad.

'With this decision, West Norfolk has opened up its countryside to developers who can build holiday lets wherever they want.'

Congham Parish Council said it supported it 'with reservations' but called for conditions to be imposed concerning working times and parking on site.

Natural England said it had no objections, but the Campaign for Rural England and Open Spaces Society both objected over concerns at the development's impact on the parkland.

Hotel chief executive Nicholas Dickinson said

The lodges, which will be spread around a 30-acre site will be the same size as two or three-bedroom homes.

Mr Dickinson said it would be 'about as low a density as you could get'.