PROPOSALS for an eco-friendly holiday cabin scheme at a County Durham farm have been lodged with council planners.

Durham County Council has received a planning application for High Hill House Farm, near Ferryhill.

The plan includes four cabins for holiday let, a new access track, landscape works and improvements to existing access roads.

The applicant says the scheme is linked to the long-term plan for the farm which includes creating jobs and business activities while bringing both agri-tourism and ecotourism to the area.

The Northern Echo:

The cabins are planned for a site to the west of the existing farm buildings and are intended to have a “low impact” in terms of their visual impact on the landscape and disruption.

If approved, the cabins would provide a variety of accommodation for couples, families and small groups including one wheelchair accessible with dedicated parking facilities.

The planning statement reads: “The business will specialise in high quality holiday lettings and agri/eco- tourism experiences, allowing the visitor to determine their own bespoke blend between a peaceful secluded getaway and a full-on farm experience. 

“Visitors will have access to farm life accompanied by their personal guide and can help with the chickens, animals and garden produce in the polytunnel on a daily basis and other seasonal activities and harvesting opportunities, which will increase on a yearly basis as the eco farm is developed."

According to planning documents, the cabins would be sustainable with very low energy input and would be built off-site and “towed into place to rest on a local foundation and service connections.”

This aims to reduce material waste and the “overall transport footprint of the construction.”

Each cabin could be let for up to 14 days with a daily housekeeping service offered.

Applicants state that noise would be kept in check through a guest and site management strategy.

The planning statement goes on to say: “One of the key elements to the development of this vision is the long term maintenance and planting of additional woodland areas along the escarpment and areas of rewilding across the farm to increase biodiversity.”

The cabin development could also be reversed if required in future, with woodland returned to its natural state.

A decision on the application is expected by early January 2021.

For more information, visit the council’s planning portal and search reference: DM/20/03027/FPA