Council planners give green light for hostel expansion

East Cambridgeshire District Council.

East Cambridgeshire District Council. - Credit: Archant

Agricultural giant G’s has been granted planning permission to expand its hostel for seasonal workers, near Shippea Hill.

G’s applied to East Cambridgeshire District Council in April to expand the Wings Hostel to provide an additional 52 spaces for workers and to allow for a new gym, IT equipment and “entertainment space”.

The plans will also include new showers, toilets and washing facilities for the work force.

The company plans to move staff from a hostel in Barway into Shippea Hill, a measure it says will reduce the number of bus journeys by 20 per week.

G’s says the accommodation will be in use from May 1 to October 31 and will not be used outside of the harvesting season.

In a statement to planners at East Cambridgeshire District Council, G’s said: “Following discussions with our season workers, we have determined that the main change they would like is to reduce accommodation from 6-8 per room to four per room.

“Part of the plan to achieve this involved moving 52 workers from our main hostel at Barway and relocating them to Wings Hostel, therefore cutting down on transport time.

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“This plan will enable the provision of improved accommodation for seasonal workers in the proposed cabin premises.”

G’s also said that a small number of rooms would also be made available for married or co-habiting workers.

Planning officer, Lesley Westcott granted planning permission for a period of five years.