'Home from home' holiday lodges wins green light from planners

New holiday lodges at Gravel Farm, Stretham

Planners gave the go-ahead to seven new holiday lodges near Stretham. - Credit: Gary Johns Architects

A property consultant hopes new holiday lodges will provide a “welcoming home from home” as his plans to expand the site were given the green light. 

James Harvey, of J Harvey Ltd, submitted plans to build seven two and three-bed lodges on land east of Gravel Farm near Stretham. 

On behalf of the applicant, Gary Johns Architects said the proposal “involves the diversification of Gravel Farm to complement the existing holiday village.” 

Gary Johns Architects say the new holiday lets “will transform the site into a welcoming home from home for tourists”. 

It is hoped that extra lodges will “transform an unused field into an attractive addition to the Gravel Farm holiday village” in a move to increase tourist numbers to the area. 

Proposed new holiday lodges at Gravel Farm, Stretham

What the proposed new holiday lodges could look like in Stretham. - Credit: Gary Johns Architects

In January 2019, Mr Harvey won permission to create a lake and four holiday lodges on land opposite Tilehouse Farm off the A1123 near Stretham. 

At the time, an investigation into the site was advised which archaeologists, who agreed with the plans, said was “an area of high archaeological potential”. 

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A heritage assessment concluded the current expansion plans would not impact any historical assets nearby, such as Tiled House Farm Roman Villa and Stretham Pumping Engine. 

The assessment by RPS Group said that “the proposed development site is sufficiently screened from both designated heritage assets. 

“The site is assessed as having a moderate potential for pre-historic, Roman and medieval non-designated archaeological remains to be present on site.” 

Case officer Catherine Looper has since confirmed the plans cannot go ahead until archaeological work at the site has been completed. 

Each of the seven holiday lodges will also have two designated parking spaces for tourists. 

Gary Johns Architects say the lodges rely less on fossil fuels for energy, such as using air source heat pumps in the hope of becoming “eco-friendly and sustainable. 

“The whole site will be landscaped to a very high standard and the feel will be to that of a country house,” they said. 

“The application utilises an area of unused land to provide much needed accommodation for tourists, as well as providing significant biodiversity enhancements for the area.”