Leeds Castle to offer cabin getaways after plans to erect four timber lakeside lodges approved
Visitors to one of Kent’s biggest tourist attractions will soon be able to stay the night in lakeside cabins.
Leeds Castle has been granted permission to begin the construction of four timber lodges along the banks of the Great Water Lakes.
Each building will be made of timber cladding and consist of a single bedroom, a bathroom, an external bathing area and a balcony overlooking the water on the site grounds at Hollingbourne, near Maidstone.
The plans were first submitted on January 17 and given the nod by Maidstone council on May 5.
Within the planning documents it said: "Leeds Castle has the perfect foundation to create a cabin retreat that delivers a unique, experience-led reconnection to nature.
"From the beautiful picturesque grounds teaming with wildlife, to the working biodiverse landscape and the magnificent historical buildings, it is uniquely positioned to present a distinctive, exclusive retreat offering.
"By investing in an additional range of experiences to attract, inform, and inspire visitors, it will encourage them to stay for longer in the area and thereby increase their contribution to the local economy."
The plans have been drawn up by Koto Designs, a company specialising in cabins and secular living spaces.
They argued the proposed development will not have a detrimental impact on the physical architectural and historical values of the castle as an “important heritage asset”, although it will not “enhance the heritage values or preservation of the historical site”.
An accompanying design statement for the plans stated: "The location and brand positioning of Leeds Castle are so much more than just the house and grounds.
"They are a visitor attraction receiving over 500,000 visitors each year, but they are also a forester, a farmer, an employer, a landlord and passionate conservationists.
"With a huge range of authentic, immersive experiences that connects visitors to the community from local food produce available to local spa products available in the cabins, there will be a continued focus on reflecting the local destination."
A few comments were filed with the application, namely from Broomfield and Kingswood Borough Council, but its concerns weren’t around the plans.
It said: “After due consideration Cllrs had no objections to this application however did have concerns over increased traffic.”
Kent County Council made comments on ensuring any and all changes to public highways affected by these plans have been processed and allowed via Kent Highways, explicitly saying that: “It should not be assumed that permission will be a given because planning permission has been granted.”