Application For New Campsite To Go Before Planners

King Edward's Lane towards Peninnis

Planners are being asked to approve a new campsite application for Peninnis.

Controversial plans for 45 tents at Peninnis Farm were rejected in 2006 and a subsequent smaller application for 17 units was turned down in 2007.

These new plans are for higher-end accommodation with 7 serviced tents, which would contain a fireplace and bathroom.

In total the site extends to around 0.325 hectares on the northern edge of Peninnis Farm, immediately adjacent to King Edward’s Lane, between Peninnis House and the farm buildings.

In his application to the Council, site tenant Jon May, says his plan is to “create an absolutely unique farm holiday experience in tented accommodation that is furnished and equipped to a standard that exceeds all expectations.”

Jon says he believes there is a real opportunity for guests, particularly with young families, to get involved in the workings of the farm.

The activities proposed could include egg collection, fruit picking or feeding rare breed pigs

The Duchy of Cornwall has backed the proposal claiming the farming experience offers “much merit and diversification.”

Land Steward, Chris Gregory states that the location of Peninnis Farm offers a challenging proposition because of its exposure to prevailing winds and the production of high value flower crops is significantly compromised.

The difficulty of flower farming there is also referred to in a supportive letter sent by Keith Hale of Mainland Marketing.

The Duchy don’t feel it will be intrusive. Chris Gregory writes that the scale and location of tents will have little impact on the sensitive site.

The previous, rejected application raised concerns over increased movement along the headland but the Duchy feels that the presence of these tents won’t induce greater pedestrian traffic on King Edwards Road.


“Tourism industry must adapt”


The applicant’s brother, Andrew May, wrote as a director of Seaways Chalets to say the tourism industry must adapt and improve the offering and he referred to his brother’s plan as innovative.

Andrew said it has been more challenging attracting visitors to his holiday lets and although bookings are reasonably strong, people were leaving it to last minute and the numbers wanting to come here were falling.

Euan Rodger offered his support, too, referring to the Blue Sail Tourism report that specifically highlighted the gap in the market for luxury camping.

“We should ignore this foresight and vision at our peril,” said Euan.

That is a position supported by Star Castle owner, Robert Francis. He also backs the application. Robert doesn’t see it as competition for the hotel but instead thinks it offers extra choice and a real farm experience.

He feels the site is well screened and adds that, in his view, the May family has a track record in providing tasteful, innovative self-catering accommodation.

But Garrison Campsite owner, Ted Moulson, has objected. He said that, with the difficult economic conditions, his campsite had spaces available in August for the first time in many years.

He said whichever sector this proposal would compete with is more than adequately serviced as we stand.

Richard Larn also doesn’t want planners to back it and claims the applicant “glibly calls the structures tents when they are wooden chalets with canvas roofs.”

Richard feels the application is too similar to the one that was rejected before.

He doesn’t want people walking to and from the site at night or luggage being delivered by road.

Planners will discuss the application on 22nd November.