A plan to establish eight camping pods and associated infrastructure in West Murkle would create “a significant economic benefit” for the region.
This is the assertion made in a Design and Access Statement supporting an application filed by a resident named Gary Sutherland.
The proposed Glamp and Camp plan would “offer contemporary, luxury accommodation to visitors” and would be suitable for weekend trips as well as short breaks. It may also draw people along the well-known North Coast 500 tourist route since it’s located just approximately a mile across from A836 Castletown to Thurso road.
The plan, which is being submitted for Highland Council’s approval, is expected to create two new jobs—one full-time and another part-time.
According to a statement, the idea of luxury glamping is growing in popularity across the UK as expectations of guests and standards increase.
“The site operator’s intention is for the site to be among the top accessible in the region as there isn’t a lot in the Caithness area that offers this kind of luxury accommodation, giving guests exclusive amenities and unique services with stunning views as well as extravagant glamping accommodations,” the statement reads.
The report added that the proposed glamping site would provide a new and exciting accommodation option to the area.
“Demand for this type of accommodation is high throughout the country, which has also been shown to be true of other glamping sites within the UK. The site being on the NC500 route further justifies the need for this type of accommodation and motorhome pitches.”
“This development will increase footfall for local businesses and, through correct marketing, should increase the length of time tourists remain in the area. This will be beneficial for local tourist attractions, restaurants, and businesses.”
The document stated that the proposal would comprise an array of eight handcrafted glamping units that include hot tubs and three motorhome pitches to accommodate guests. They would also come with cycle stores, recycling/waste with reception area, storage/service space, and shower facilities. There will be individual parking spaces and an additional five, one of them having an electric vehicle charging station.
A treatment facility, along with an associated soakaway and groundworks, is designed to drain the eight units and hot tubs. The units will be constructed off-site before being transported to West Murkle.
The statement stated: “The proposal will have many benefits to the local economy, through the additional use of tourist attractions, while also using local amenities like local shops and pubs.”
The development will be set away from the highway, while an existing access point already to the site will be utilized and upgraded.
The units will be clad in timber with green roofs and have been designed “to be extremely energy efficient.” Cycling will be promoted while guests stay on-site, with cycle parking facilities provided.
The document pointed out demand for tourist accommodation in the area and claims there will be no adverse effects on the surroundings as it is “a small-scale development.”