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News for December 4, 2021

Maidstone Borough Council To Consider Proposed Glamping Site

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Councilors of the Stockbury parish in Maidstone Borough (Kent, England) aren’t happy about plans for an upcoming “bijou” glamping retreat within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), a report said.

The possible holiday destination in Bimbury Lane, Stockbury, would include four bell tents, three sleeping pods, and a shepherd’s hut. There will also be a bar, tearoom, shower block, and parking.

The application will be debated by the Maidstone Borough Council‘s (MBC) plan committee during a meeting this evening.

The issue is that Stockbury Parish Council has expressed strong opposition to the retreat, arguing the plans violate the AONB.

A letter sent to the council stated that granting the glamping site a planning permit “would result in the overdevelopment of the site and set a precedent in the parish.”

It could also “commercialize a residential property.”

Yet, MBC officers will recommend the approval of plans submitted by Mrs. L Twitchett as long as the conditions are fulfilled to ensure the safety of the natural environment.

Bimbury Lane is about 880m north of the A249 junction. The site is close to paddocks, farms, and two homes.

The bell tents would be used from April to October, while the shepherd’s hut and sleeping pods would be available throughout the year.

The bar would be transformed from a stable and would not be serving alcohol but would offer soft drinks and coffee.

There won’t be a restaurant. However, the tearoom will provide the “country afternoon tea experience” for glampers.

The Kent Downs AONB Unit has not objected. It has recommended conditions for controlling lighting at the site to protect the night skies in the area.

It also suggests the submission of specifics of building materials and colors of bell tents. It recommends that details should complement the “local character.”

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