Glamping Site Plans Progressing At Peninnis

The field at Peninnis Farm, off King Edwards Road

A small, luxury campsite on Peninnis should bring new generations of visitors into Scilly and could increase the range of local produce available.

That’s the view of Jon and Daniel May, who were granted planning consent for the seven-tent project in November.

They feel that the high-end canvas accommodation, complete with beds and bathrooms, will be particularly attractive to young families who want a sustainable break on an active farm.

Jon says he wants to give guests access to summer fruit or salad vegetables growing on site and would follow an honesty box principle when it comes to settling payment.

He says the relaxed, trusting nature of the islands is something we take for granted and he feels that would appeal to visitors.

Any produce not taken as part of a pick-your-own will be sold to locals in a produce shop.

The hot water and heating for the tents will be supplied on a ring main warmed by a wood chip biomass system.

It’s sustainable and Jon hopes the project could benefit from a commercial form of feed in tariff, which was introduced in November although whether or not this scheme could get this benefit is uncertain.

Planners insist the canvas is taken down for three winter months and the non-permanent status means it could be a test case for tariff eligibility. Only 12 other campsites currently meet the requirements.

Jon has some concerns about launching a new enterprise when visitor numbers are down but he feels something needs to be done to attract new groups, especially families who will build a relationship with Scilly.

The concept of ‘glamping’, or glamorous camping is currently trendy and has been identified by both Blue Sail and this weekend’s Sunday Times as a popular choice.

Jon says they won’t be ready for guests until next Easter although he still hasn’t received the Council’s planning approval paperwork that he needs before the work can start, and the heating plans are taking time.

He’s worked for seven years with the tent designers since plans for a larger site were originally suggested and he says he wants to get the finished product right rather than rush it.