Nat­u­ral re­treat for the Chilterns

Tim­ber lodges to give tourists an al­ter­na­tive to B&Bs in the Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Katy Clifton katy.clifton@trin­i­tymir­ Twit­ter: @Katy_Clifton1

NEW tim­ber lodges could be built in Che­sham to deal with the in­creased de­mand for tourist ac­com­mo­da­tion in the Chilterns.

The lodges, which would be based at Hazeldene Farm, Ash­eridge Road, will ac­com­mo­date vis­i­tors who come to see the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty.

The three tim­ber lodges, with can­vas stretched over the roof, will each be sup­plied with a wood-burn­ing stove, elec­tric­ity, hot and cold run­ning wa­ter, kitchen fa­cil­i­ties, a shower and a com­post­ing toi­let.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion sub­mit­ted to Chiltern Dis­trict Coun­cil (CDC), the lodges will be ‘com­fort­able and warm but will give the oc­cu­piers the sense of open space and be­ing in touch with their sur­round­ings’.

Na­tional tourism is fore­casted to in­crease by £50 bil­lion over the next 10 years and Sara Tucker, the con­sul­tant who pre­pared the state­ment, said Che­sham needed to ac­com­mo­date more tourists.

She said: “The HS2 re­port high­lighted that, de­spite a pop­u­la­tion ex­ceed­ing 20,000, Che­sham has no ho­tels, so its stay­ing vis­i­tors are served by B&Bs and some self-cater­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion.

“The lack of sup­ply of ac­com­mo­da­tion in the Che­sham area comes de­spite the re­search show­ing that there were 22,900 overnight vis­i­tors and 407,000 day vis­i­tors to Che­sham.

“There is £13m di­rect vis­i­tor ex­pen­di­ture and £14.6m to­tal ex­pen­di­ture ben­e­fit­ing lo­cal busi­nesses, which all sup­ports an es­ti­mated 471 lo­cal jobs.”

Hazeldene Con­ser­va­tion Farm, which spe­cialises in main­tain­ing rare breed na­tive live­stock, pro­poses to build the new lodges in an or­chard area at the west of the hold­ing.

CDC was also sat­is­fied with pro­pos­als for a oneacre camp site at the farm, but said the de­vel­op­ment would only be sup­ported in the green belt if ‘very spe­cial cir­cum­stances’ could be demon­strated.

Within a 30-minute zone, tourists will be able to en­joy at­trac­tions such as Wind­sor Cas­tle, The Sav­ill Gar­den, the Hell Fire Caves and The Wy­combe Swan.

De­mand: (Main and in­set) The pro­posed site for the new tim­ber lodges at Hazeldene Farm; (be­low) an ex­am­ple lodge pro­posed for Hazeldene Farm

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