Controversial plans for a glamping site have been given the green light on appeal.
Four new pods, a kitchen, toilet and shower block at Fifield Lodge in School Lane, Borden, were approved after a planning inspector ruled they would “contribute to the area's economy”.
Swale council rejected the plans in September 2022, believing it was an “unnecessary, undesirable, and unsustainable isolated development”.
However, the planning inspector disagreed with the local authority and approved the proposal.
Owner Tina Green, 66, who worked with Glampitect to produce the plans, says she wants to continue expanding her glamping site.
“I am absolutely delighted and am now making plans to install a six-berth pod early in the new year,” she explained. “It will be ideal for larger families and groups of friends.”
Her project was approved after the planning inspector found the site did not “represent isolated homes in the countryside”, stating that despite being in the countryside it’s “close to Borden” as well as being adjacent to the village primary school.
The inspector added the pavement between Fifield Lodge and the village gives access to local facilities.
One of the pods and the block were built during the Covid-19 pandemic when the planning department was not fully operational. They were retrospectively allowed by the inspector.
The three other pods – a two-bed, four-bed and a six-bedroom – are to be added to the existing site which has accommodation known as the Alpaca Lodge, a pool and a petting zoo.
There are also five car parking spaces for visitors, a cycle store and bin storage included in the proposals.
You can view the plans here with reference 21/503049/FULL.
In a design statement, Glampitech says the pods will take advantage of the growing glamping industry.
It said: “At the moment, there is little presence in the area offering this kind of luxury pod accommodation with a heated pool and petting experience.
“The glamping site would be a completely different proposition to the current options and likely attract a different demographic.
“Accommodating this new demographic should also see benefits pass through to the local economy.”
When Swale council rejected the plans last year it argued the “harm to the countryside” from the plans would “not be outweighed by any contribution made to the rural economy”.
Objections from the council added: “The proposed glamping pods and related development would represent unnecessary, undesirable, and unsustainable isolated development.
“It would have a significantly adverse effect upon the character and appearance of the countryside in this rural location.”