Accident black spot Holiday lodge scheme includes safety proposal
PLANS have been revealed for new tourist accommodation in the Cotswolds, and they include proposals to improve a road accident ‘black spot.’
The developer hopes the £1.7 million scheme to build lodges – for up to 48 guests – ‘in the style of traditional Cotswold farm buildings’ on Whiteshoots Hill, Hazelton, just outside Bourton-on-the-water, will boost the local economy.
As part of the scheme, there is a proposal to make improvements to “facilitate a safer pedestrian access across the A429” – the Fosse Way.
A petition was presented by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton-on-thewater and Northleach) to Gloucestershire County Council at its meeting on May 15, signed by residents in support of improvements to the area.
The developer has claimed that visitors staying in the “sustainable and ecological” accommodation would spend nearly £400,000 annually in the local area, based on 80 per cent occupancy. It added that 12 direct and indirect full-time jobs would be created as a result of the development.
The design and access statement said “the owners of the site are local people investing in the local community and the rural economy”, adding they are committed to “maintaining the special character of the local vernacular and respecting the historic relevance of the place”.
The proposal would aim to “provide tourist and visitor accommodation in a rural setting whilst providing an exemplar of sustainable and ecological living and a construction which will be traditional and authentic”.
Proposals for the road improvements include a pedestrian crossing with a central island. The developers hope it will “reduce the reliance on travel by car between the site and main attractions in the Bourton area”. Additional on-site parking would “reduce the pressure for peak-time parking in Bourton and the surrounding attractions”.
Developer Will Warrington said: “We are proposing to mitigate (road) hazards by means of this petition and in conjunction with the proposed development at Hazelton Whiteshoots Hill.”
When presenting the petition of 37 signatures, Cllr Hodgkinson called for a lower speed limit and safety measures.
He said: “I totally support residents on the issue. There have been two accidents at the location recently and we need to act. I call on Gloucestershire Highways and the police to take some serious action to promote road safety.
“I know that the police have already committed to looking at the black spot to see what they can do. Now I hope Highways will come up with some solutions, too.”
Cotswold district councillor Richard Keeling (C, Bourton Vale) said of the plans: “I have looked at your proposals with great interest and would certainly give my support as the application goes forward. I think the economic viability and sustainability arguments will be very important to the planning authority.”
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An artist’s impression of the tourist lodges planned for Hazelton