Waterside café and glamping: New plans aiming to transform Shropshire marina
One of the county’s marinas could be transformed with a new waterside café, glamping units and additional car parking in a bid to increase visitors to the area.
The owners of storage and distribution giant Grocontinental in Whitchurch bought Whixall Marina near Wem earlier this year.
The Grocott family have now submitted a planning application to Shropshire Council to transform the area.
The plans include changing an existing ground floor residential flat into a waterside cafe and installing three mobile shepherd huts for glamping.
The huts will be suitable for accommodating couples, families or groups. The convenience facilities for the shepherd’s huts, such as toilets and showers, will be located within the adjacent buildings. The shepherd’s huts would be mobile and able to be moved easily, so they can be stored away out of season.
Also an additional area of car parking will be created for visitors to the site. This car park will be accessed via the existing access off Alders Lane.
Peter Richards, on behalf of the Grocott family, said: “The marina was recently purchased by the Grocott family, who also own and manage Grocontinental.
“They are keen to increase the attractiveness of the marina to encourage both local people and visitors to the area.
“The Grocott family also own the adjacent former haulage yard known as ‘Forrester’s Transport Yard’, which is considered to offer additional employment opportunities, which the family hope to develop upon.
“It is understood that the marina was originally constructed in 1974 and has the capability to hold 150 narrow boats.
“The marina’s history has seen it be managed by a range of different companies and individuals, all of whom have different ideas and enjoyed varying success.
“The current owners believe that with the current investment and growth in the canal boating sector, that Whixall Marina can be a successful business and a major asset to the local community.
“The applicants have undertaken significant research and have concluded that the primary reason that the marina is under-utilised is that the facilities on site are totally inadequate when compared to other modern local marinas.
“It is proposed that enhancements and additions to the existing facilities will increase visitors to the area.
“It is considered that the proposed changes and works on site are modest and will complement the existing uses on site, whilst providing an overall enhancement.
“It is hoped that as the site becomes a more prevalent site to visit and stay at, an increased number of boaters will use the existing berths and make longer stops in the area.
“In addition the incorporation of the café and glamping will increase the attraction to a wider range of people.”