Plans for eco-friendly glampsite in Ranworth could be refused by council

A Broads glampsite owner could be forced to demolish sleeping cabins built without planning permissi

A Broads glampsite owner could be forced to demolish sleeping cabins built without planning permission. Pictured, Ranworth Broad. Photo: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

A Broads landowner could be refused planning permission for an “off-the-grid, eco-friendly” glampsite after a council warned it could “take enforcement action” over objections.

A planning application for land to the east of The Hill, in Ranworth, was submitted to Broadland Council earlier this year, as part of plans to create a “small, low-impact and eco-friendly site”.

But the council have recommended the application for a change of use at the site be refused and said the authority could take “enforcement action” over objections.

Owner Spencer Blyth said the site would feature temporary wooden huts as well as temporary toilet and shower facilities, built with “locally sourced, sustainable materials”, operating seasonally.

READ MORE: Luxury glamping site planned for Norfolk village

A planning statement for the site said owners wanted to provide an “off-the-grid, eco-friendly glamping site near the Norfolk Broads”, for “environmentally conscious couples and individuals looking for a low-budget staycation in the countryside”.

The site would be bike-friendly with a cycle shed and offer a zero-waste breakfast hamper included in the £55 cost for a one-night stay.

But a report published ahead of Broadland’s planning committee meeting on Wednesday, October 7, said the application for a change of use from agricultural land to camping and glamping was recommended for refusal and suggested the council would “take enforcement action” if the scheme at the 780sqm site were refused.

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It said: “A camping hut has been partially installed on site so the application is part retrospective.

“Some fencing and gate around the entrance has also been installed but is different to what is proposed on submitted drawings.”

Woodbastwick parish council clerk Caroline Purdy said: “We reported on February 6, 2020, that works had already begun with the erection of glamping pods.

“We consider this inappropriate given that planning permission is only now being applied for.”

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But Mr Matthews, and partner Abbie McAllister, said the only works that had been done on the site were to install a fence - which the council said was permitted development - and building a shed to store gardening equipment.

“We have to store stuff there as we don’t live near the site,” Ms McAllister said. “The council are aware of that.”

Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) also objected and said the site would have a “harmful impact on the designated countryside area”, while a county council highways officer said the lack of parking “would result in parking on the hill” and cause road safety issues.

The council received 10 letters of objection, citing safety fears, noise by stag parties and privacy.

But Mr Blyth said there wouldn’t be any stag parties on the site, and added: “We’re only going for couples - there’s not going to be any stag parties.”

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