Ac­ci­dent black spot Hol­i­day lodge scheme in­cludes safety pro­posal

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Phillip THOMP­SON phillip.thomp­[email protected]­

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

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