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Birchington: Plans to convert barns into a holiday complex expected to be approved

By Katie Davis

Quex could soon be converting barns into holiday lets, if plans are approved in a meeting next week.

It is hoped to change the use of existing barn buildings, at the rear of Quex Barn, into nine holiday let units and a club room, and well as building a new single story block for two additional holiday lets.

It has been given the thumbs up by Thanet District Council’s tourism manager and is likely to be approved, having been recommended for approval.

Aerial view of the site. Pic Planning application

Aerial view of the site. Pic: Planning application

In the report to the planning committee, the tourism manager said: “The council is aware that there is a lack of bed spaces in the district for the visitor economy, particularly during weekend and during the summer period.

“Between 2013 and 2015 the visitor economy grew by 19% (the total value reached £293 million) making it the biggest district tourism success story in the county of Kent and arguably the whole of the UK.

“The current on-site mix of leisure and activity uses at Quex Park represents a good critical mass of activities, which would help to support (and service) future accommodation uses.

Exterior and interior of buildings. Pic Planning application

Exterior and interior of buildings. Pic: Planning application

“It can be estimated that every visitor who stays in self-catering accommodation contributes £391 to the local economy.

“Thanet District Council’s Tourism Service would like to give support to the expansion of additional quality holiday lodge accommodation on the Quex Park Estate.”

In a planning statement submitted to the council, it said proposed developments would make 'use of existing building for a tourism related use'.

It said: “Only one new building is proposed, which is in the same style and character as the existing buildings.

The proposed layout of the site.Pic Planning application

The proposed layout of the site.Pic: Planning application

“The buildings are arranged around an open former farmyard which is retained as open amenity space, with areas fenced off for livestock, chickens, sheep and pigs.

“This helps create the traditional farmyard character and provides an additional attraction for family holidays.

“The change of use to holiday lets is considered the most complementary use.

“There are adjacent residential properties which mean that the building are not as suitable for commercial uses.

“Quex Barn has a shop and cafe which will provide local facilities for the holiday makers.

Exterior of buildings. Pic Planning application

Exterior of buildings. Pic: Planning application

“The proposal includes discrete parking areas for one car for each unit, access will be via an existing access road in the park.

“Visitor parking can be catered for in the existing Quex Barn car park which is large enough to accommodate the limited additional capacity.

“While the development will increase traffic generation, the holiday use of the units will only result in a low level of movements compared to the present level of use.

“These movements will not be at peak times and will not therefore result in any significant increase in movements.

“The buildings are all single storey and therefore will provide good disabled access.

“The whole philosophy behind the scheme is to retain and restore the historic character of the site without significantly increasing the level of built development or the number of people in the area.”

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 18 at 7pm.

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