Glamping and camping proposal for Fineshade

Last updated 17 June 2021
In early spring yet another planning application appeared for the meadow in front of Top Lodge.  This one proposes 15 glamping pods, an unspecified number of camping pitches, a car park apparently with 21 spaces and a single static caravan for an on-site warden.  And it's right in front of a Grade II listed building. But, most importantly, this would provide "Change of Use" for the meadow making further tent or caravan development much easier.

This is typical of applications that are the thin end of a wedge towards a company's real aim: in this case a huge complex of holiday or residential accommodation at Top Lodge. It's known as "planning mission creep". This application tries to exploit loopholes in legislation to build accommodation in beautiful open countryside.

Let's not be hoodwinked: this is a property company desperately trying to get a foot in the door to exploit Fineshade, just as they have at other similar sites

About the plan

Please click here to see the full planning application on the council's planning portal.  It is number NE/21/00388/FUL.

This is the 5th application made by the owners of the field - all the others have been unsuccessful.

This one was lodged with the former East Northants Council but will be decided by the new unitary authority of North Northamptonshire. There is a new Planning Committee made up of councillors who will not necessarily know about the history of previous applications. We need to make sure they know the strength of local opposition.

The important details are in the Planning Statement that may be downloaded here. Large file - 9.3 Mb)

Over 125 friends have objected  - please join them

We still need you to help. A short, heart-felt objection focussing on a single issue that means a lot to you can be very effective indeed. Some of the issues are listed in orange boxes below. It could take less than 5 minutes of your time. Follow the blue arrow to see how to do it

Site plan key.JPG

The map shows the existing Top Lodge buildings (greyish tones, top centre) 

The 15 glamping pods are shown as brown rectangles

What the plan does not make clear is the sloping nature of the ground which in places is quite steep. This is particularly true for the carpark as well as the space designated for tent camping.

What will the buildings look like?

The application does not specify or provide images but it is likely that the pods will be similar to those shown on the right and the static caravan as depicted in a previous application.

Static carvans elevations.JPG
1 pod.JPG
The meadow where development is proposed

Field at Top Lodge  (potential LGS) (1).

This is the field where the camping and glamping would take place, with the entrance on the immediate right

The company behind this application,
Countrywide Park Homes

The application comes from Mrs Donna Barney who, with her husband Tony Barney, are the Directors of Countrywide Park Homes Ltd. 

Download and read the 12-page Objection from the Duddington-with-Fineshade Parish Council
Reasons why we are fighting this proposal
It will generate many extra vehicle movements along a single track road that is already well past capacity
Extra traffic will increase the dangers at the turning to Top Lodge from the A43
It is acknowledged as a very important site for reptiles, particularly the locally rare Adder. Such a site is no place to encourage camping.
Barbecues create real threat of wild-fires in the woods
NO shops, facilities or public transport options within easy walking distance make this development unsustainable
There is only one access route for emergency vehicles
The proposed carpark is not large enough to accommodate the likely number of vehicles, leading to parking on the grass or outside the site
The designated camping area is on a slope and tents will certainly creep towards the more level areas
Vehicle access to the site will create a further hazard for  pedestrians and cyclists at what is already a dangerous junction
This is new development in a particularly prominent and important area of open countryside.
Why is it necessary when there are so many existing camp sites nearby?
This application is just the thin end of a wedge towards the company's real aim of a huge complex of holiday or residential accommodation at Top Lodge. It's "planning mission creep"
Lighting at night is unspecified - it could be either intrusive or unsafe
The view across the field from the footpaths around the site will be ruined by a static caravan, parked cars, tents and campervans
NO details about water supply, electricity, or  how rubbish will be stored and removed
A caravan, carpark, new roadway, glamping pods, tents and lighting will adversely affect the setting of the Grade-II-listed building
Where are the toilets and showers?
Wildlife surveys are incomplete and totally out of date.
Rubbish, noise, smells and lighting will adversely affect residents and visitors alike
How to take the glamour out of glamping? Pods in a wet, shaded, sloping corner of a field without any facilities
The number of jobs created by the site is unspecified in the application.  It's probably just one - the warden
Security on site for those glamping and camping is not specified
The corner of the field is very steep and will require major earth works in order to construct the road and car park
Tenting and glamping will totally change the character of Top Lodge