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