Glamping site expansion approved

A glamping site on the edge of Shrewsbury has been granted permission to expand after the owners scaled back their plans.

Shropshire Council has approved plans to extend a glamping site
Shropshire Council has approved plans to extend a glamping site

Hencote vineyard and winery will see 20 more lodges added to its site, despite concerns over noise, traffic and over-development.

Shropshire Council’s northern planning committee narrowly approved the application at a meeting on Tuesday.

It was the second time the plans were before the committee, after members said at a meeting in December they wanted to reject the original application for 26 extra lodges.

But councillors were warned by planning officers that they had not given strong enough reasons for refusal – meaning an appeal to the planning inspectorate would likely see the decision overturned and costs awarded against the council – and the application was instead deferred.

Following the meeting and a site visit by planning officers, the applicants agreed to remove the six units considered to be the most visible from surrounding viewpoints.

In a statement read to the committee, Bagley ward councillor Alex Phillips said he maintained his objection.

He said: “This is a countryside site, so any extra activity should be subservient to the main agricultural business that takes place on the site.

“The current 10 glamping units and restaurant could be argued to be economically subservient at a stretch, but the 20 units can not. They very much change the nature and financial balance of uses on the site.”

He asked that if the committee did approve the application that a condition be attached to the planning permission preventing the 20 new lodges from being built until the proposed North West Relief Road was completed, in order to alleviate traffic pressure on Ellesmere Road.

The committee was again divided over the application, with Councillor Julian Dean saying the proposed layout showing 10 units around the edges of a field could amount to a “mini festival site”.

He said this would cause disturbance to nearby residents living in the valley below the site.

Councillor David Vasmer said the valley location created an “echo effect” which would amplify noise from the lodges.

But other members said the potential economic benefits to the area should be supported.

Councillor Vince Hunt said: “Post-Covid when the world starts getting back to a greater degree of normality I think Shropshire needs to be open for business.

“If we become sticks in the mud and we stand still then that’s not going to happen to the extent that’s going to be needed to support local businesses and kick start Shropshire’s economy again.”

Members voted in favour of the application, in line with the officers’ recommendation, by five votes to four.

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