A growing Trend for UK Staycations and Diversification
Installing a new holiday lodge or even opening a new holiday park venture is an incredibly exciting prospect. In recent years, there’s been a massive upswing in consumers choosing to take short staycations in UK locations. This trend is likely to accelerate with the recent coronavirus pandemic encouraging people to take holidays in quiet UK destinations. It’s no surprise that savvy landowners and farmers with suitably attractive land are considering diversification into the tourism sector with the opening of holiday parks for caravans, glamping, log cabins and lodges. If you’re one of those keen to diversify, it’s important not to get carried away at the beginning – You need to make sure the correct planning permission is obtained before realising your dream park so that you are operating within the law. So how should you go about getting the necessary approvals for your lodge? Our latest blog runs through the basics.
How to Approach the Planning Process
Full Planning Permission Versus Outline Planning Permission – When going through the planning process it is important to be aware of the difference between these two terms. When outline planning permission is granted it essentially means that the local council approves of your plans in principle but building cannot start. Full planning permission requires full design documents to be submitted to the council and written permission will be provided so that you can start building your lodges.
Contact your local council or planning consultant – we recommend contacting your local council or a planning consultant with knowledge about the local development plan for the area in which your land is located. Prepare to provide some basic information about your plans for a holiday lodge or park on your property. From the initial approach, you should be able to gauge the response to these early discussions to ascertain whether your idea is likely to be feasible before investing more time and money in the process.
Approach a professional contractor or architect – If your plans for diversification appear to have plenty of mileage in them, now is the time to invest in some professional advice from an architect or professional lodge provider. They will be able to provide some outline plans and specifications for your lodges that can be sent to the local council planning department.
Submit your planning application – Once you have some plans for your lodge(s) that you are happy with, it’s time to submit your application to the local council via your lodge provider or planning consultant. By using an experienced provider to draw up the plans, you will be giving yourself the best chance of success during the planning process. Local councils are often keen to permit new parks as they generate additional income for the local area, but at the same time have to weigh up this benefit against a range of other factors impacting the environment.
Don’t be disheartened if the plans are rejected in the first instance. The council will always stipulate the reason why the plans were rejected and therefore you will usually be able to submit an amended plan taking into account their concerns with high likelihood of success next time around. It typically takes around two months for a decision on a planning application for lodges, but this may be longer if an environmental impact assessment is required.
Planning Approved – Once you have received planning permission for your lodge, it’s time to finalise the design and place an order so manufacturing can start. Most planning permission is granted for up to three years which means there is plenty of time to undertake your project – just be aware of this time constraint if you are taking on a build part way through as you may need to go back to the council to renew your permission if it expires during the project.
Why Might my Plans be Rejected?
Local councils will weigh up a variety of factors when considering whether or not to grant planning permission. They will take the positives such as increased economic activity in the area and employment opportunities versus the negative impacts the new venture might have. Councils will look at aspects such as the visual impact of lodges on the surrounding environment, proximity to housing or amenities and whether the development fits in with other expansion plans that may be on the cards nearby.
Idyllic remote locations provide excellent spaces for holiday parks, but councils will reject plans for development that falls directly within heritage sites or areas of outstanding natural beauty. This is why many holiday parks are based just outside these sites but never within them. If your lodges are intended as an extension of an existing park, planning permission is never a foregone conclusion as councillors will need to take into account the impact of additional activity in the local area on the environment, as well as factors such as encroachment on local housing.
How Can Flexilodge Help you with a Successful Planning Application?
The Flexilodge team is experienced at helping clients to find a bespoke lodge design that is sensitive to the chosen locality and council requirements. Our directors have personal experience of the planning application process for lodges and we have built solid relationships with planning consultants who we can recommend for assistance in specific circumstances. In addition, the bespoke design, appearance and environmentally sustainable features of our Flexilodges make them highly adaptable to different environments as follows:
Modular design – Flexilodges are built to a modular design enabling us to tailor the number and size of rooms, plus layout options to fit different spaces and comply with planning requirements.
Exterior appearance – We have an unrivalled number of exterior options and finishes for each lodge. Not only can this give every lodge or park a unique feel for visitors which is incredibly pleasing on the eye, our lodges can also be designed to blend in with their local surroundings no matter where they are placed. This limits visual impact on the local area to satisfy potential objections from local councils.
Sedum roofs – For the ultimate in environmentally friendly design, Flexilodges can be built with a live sedum roof. This enables lodges to blend in seamlessly with countryside and woodland habitats whilst helping you to show off environmental credentials providing extra space for living plants to grow and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Solar power and special insulation – Essential power within each Flexilodge can be supplied using solar panels, whilst energy required for heating in winter or cooling in summer is kept to a minimum by our special wall insulation. This means that our lodges not only appeal to a new breed of environmentally conscious tourists but also local councils who will be concerned about how your development impacts the environment.
UK manufacturing – We are proud that our lodges, and most of the components within them, are manufactured to an extremely high standard exceeding BS3632;2015 British build standards in UK factories. This supports local jobs and limits the need to transport materials and finished products over long distances, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
This article provides some basic tips and advice to consider when embarking on a project to install new lodges based on our own experiences. Planning legislation is constantly evolving and we cannot guarantee a successful application – we recommend that you always seek professional planning advice. If you would like to discuss how Flexilodge can help to provide suitable lodges for your development or talk through some design ideas with you and your planning team, please contact us today on 02476 939 679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org