Isle of Wight councillors are set to consider Tapnell Farm‘s plan to replace its white bell tents with 32 tourism pods, in light of objections raised by Yarmouth Town Council.
Located on the outskirts of Freshwater, Tapnell Farm aims to replace its current 30 bell tents with the new pods, each offering space for four beds.
Yarmouth Town Council has objected to the proposals, arguing that they represent an over-development and urbanisation of the site. They have also expressed concerns about the pods being in place year-round instead of just during the tourist season.
While the pods would not be permanently fixed to the ground, they would provide a year-round camping option at the site, as reported by the Isle of Wright County Press.
Local Councilor Peter Spink requested that the Isle of Wight Council’s planning committee determine the application to address the concerns raised.
Officers have recommended the application be approved with conditions, including landscape work, external lighting, holiday occupancy only, and subject to a land management plan.
The planning committee will hear the case next Tuesday (13) and determine whether to grant permission or not. Notably, Wightlink, Southern Vectis, and the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce, along with four individuals, have supported the application.
Supporters argue that the pods would enhance the accommodation quality and that the landscaping would make the area more visually attractive than the white tents.
The proposed pods would be clad in rough-sawn vertical timber, stained, with some walls featuring a trellised living wall. It is anticipated that the pods would mainly be used by youth activity holiday providers, Camp Libertas, who partnered with Tapnell Farm last year during the summer. The pods would have a smaller capacity compared to the current tents.
Concerns were raised that the pods would negatively impact the neighbouring Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). However, with mitigations in place and proposed conditions, officers believe it would not have a significant visual impact on the rural landscape.
Overall, officials suggest that the development could provide social and economic benefits by enhancing the tourism offering on the Island.
For glamping business owners, the situation at Tapnell Farm highlights the importance of balancing development plans with local concerns and environmental considerations. When planning to expand or modify your glamping site, it’s crucial to engage with community stakeholders and regulatory authorities early on.
By understanding potential objections and working collaboratively, you can design a development that aligns with your business goals, meets local planning requirements, and maintains a harmonious relationship with the surrounding community.
Furthermore, integrating sustainable and eco-friendly elements, such as living walls or renewable energy solutions, can help minimize the environmental impact of your development and appeal to the growing number of eco-conscious travelers.