PROPOSALS for a riverside ‘glamping’ site offering hot tubs and fishing activities for visitors in County Durham have been approved.

Last year, a planning application was lodged with Durham County Council to erect six glamping pods in the Shotley Grove area, near Consett.

The structures were planned for a parcel of land to the south of Shotley Grove Road, next to the River Derwent.

According to a design and access statement from the applicant, the glamping pods would be of “modest, modern design with materials in keeping with the site’s setting”.

In addition, each pod included a planned external decked area, complete with hot tub, which would be screened with larch clad fencing. 

Three pods would be located to the eastern side of the site, with a further three pods located further towards the west of the site.

During consultation, the plans drew four objections and two letters of support.

Concerns ranged from the development impacting the water supply of other dwellings in the area and potential river pollution, to increased traffic, noise and “encroachment into the countryside.”

According to planning documents, Derwent Angling Association (DAA) fully supported the application and said that day tickets to fish the river would be made available to guests.

A statement in a planning report reads: “[DAA] consider that any ideas to promote the valley and the surrounding area should be encouraged and that the owner of the proposed site should be applauded for allowing her guests access to the surrounding countryside as well adding to the economy of the local area.”

After considering all representations, Durham County Council’s planning department approved the application.

In a decision report, planners said that the applicant had proposed to erect “header tanks to supply the pods and fill overnight, so as not to impact adversely on the water pressure.”

A decision report reads: “The proposal brings economic benefits and is of a good design and generally in keeping with the character of the building, area and landscape. 

“With conditions there would be no detrimental impacts to designated heritage assets, the landscape or ecology. 

“The flood risk is manageable via condition and appropriate drainage can be ensured via condition. 

“The proposal is acceptable in terms of amenity and highways safety and conditions can ensure sustainable transport options are available on site.”

Tourism management agency Visit County Durham (VCD) also supported the glamping development plan.

A planning report adds:“They [VCD] advise that Durham has a shortage of supply in visitor accommodation. 

“It is advised that this proposal is well placed to take advantage of the recent investment in [the] county and ideally suited for those wishing to have a base to explore the county and the region.”

For more information on the application, visit Durham County Council’s planning portal and search reference: DM/20/03763/FPA