Shropshire Star

Underground Hobbit-style lodges plan for fishery near Shrewsbury

Three “underground” Hobbit-style lodges could be built into a hillside in a bid to boost a fishery business.

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A stock image of a Hobbit home - not included with the application

Plans have been submitted for the three earth covered huts at The Fishpools, Pontesford Hill, Pontesbury, near Shrewsbury.

The proposals have been submitted to Shropshire Council this week, with planning chiefs to rule on the application shortly.

Applicant Gavin Dransfield, of Earlsdale Fishery, said: “This is to support and enhance the fishery business and to provide diversified income.

“The proposed development will include the introduction of three small earth covered cabins built into the hillside, providing overnight accommodation all year round, encouraging longer stays and increased spend.

“Changes have been made to take into consideration concerns raised by neighbours.

“This submitted application includes altering the design from timber cabins to earth covered cabins, which blend into the hillside, provide a natural sound bunding and allow re-siting of the cabins from the plateau to the hillside, away from the southern boundary and the nature reserve car-park.”

An impression of how the lodges could look

He added: “The proposed site for the glamping units is set within hillside sloping to the south of the facility building, overlooking the lower fishing pool and surrounded by mature and early mature beech trees.

“The site is located within easy walking distance of the settlement of Pontesbury, which has a range of facilities including restaurants, pubs, convenience stores, shops and services.”

He concluded: “This application will allow the business to run a small number of events each year (limited to 10 to 15 people per event), including coaching sessions, courses and volunteering. On-site accommodation will be provided for a small number of guests, with local guest houses, camping sites, bed and breakfasts and hotels benefiting from those guests not staying on-site.

“The application clearly demonstrates the benefits of angling and angling tourism both nationally and regionally.

“The regional benefits relating to angling demonstrate an additional £17,000 and 0.7 full-time jobs for every additional 1,000 fishing days without taking into account increased spend due to angling tourism.

“The site has the potential to generate 7,000 fishing days and based on regional averages, 10 per cent could be from anglers visiting from outside of the area.”