"Thank you for supporting us with this application; the detailed reports we commissioned from you that responded to earlier concerns really helped us get this application ‘over the line’. After 11 months we are finally able to progress with this project."
Cloud Farm Campsite
AWP were contacted by the National Trust in 2021 requesting our support with a planning application for the siting of new camping pitches at their Cloud Farm Campsite on Exmoor. The campsite was taken over in 2020 by the National Trust and is located in the stunning Lorna Doone valley, near Lynton on the Exmoor and North Devon / Somerset border. Badgworthy Water runs past the site, with several camping fields located right on the river’s edge. A number of footpaths and bridleways pass through the site, providing access to the high moor, South West Coast Path and nearby Malmsmead. The site is popular with both families and individuals, and is a favourite amongst walkers and cyclists passing through the area.
Following their acquisition of the site, the National Trust sought to expand on the accommodation options at Cloud Farm, by providing six new wooden camping pods, 10 electric hook-up pitches for tents, and six additional grass tent pitches. The location of the site in the middle of Exmoor National Park, as well as the rural nature of the nearby highway network, and flood risk from Badgworthy Water, meant that a sensitive and careful approach was required to the planning application, balancing the needs of the growing local tourism industry whilst respecting the tranquillity of the site and its surroundings.
AWP were asked to provide Transport Planning and Flood Risk input into the planning application, and the project was eagerly taken on by Daisy who was already familiar with Cloud Farm having camped there several times in the past. Not needing any excuse to visit Exmoor, Daisy popped over to the site on a rather blustery day in October to meet the client and the team who would be putting together the application. With the main focus being any potential increase in traffic drawn to the site, Daisy spent much of the day amusing locals by measuring the width of passing places on the road to Cloud Farm, dodging potholes on bridleways and lamenting the fact that the nearby tearoom was closed for the winter.
We provided a Transport Statement and Highways Technical Note to support the application, and undertook a number of traffic surveys both on the approach to the site access and along the access track itself, to understand peak flows to and from the campsite and how the additional development might impact these. During the latter stages of the consultation, we were asked to provide a Flood Risk Assessment for pitches in one of the lower fields adjacent to Badgworthy Water. Letisha in our Drainage team worked closely with the LLFA and the National Trust to optimise the position of the new pitches without encroaching on the area of flood risk, and produced an emergency evacuation plan for the campsite in case of an extreme flooding event.
We were delighted to hear that planning permission was granted by the Exmoor National Park Authority for the new pods and electric hook up pitches in February 2023. Alison Marsden, Property Operations Manager for the site contacted us to give us the good news, and said, “Thank you for supporting us with this application; the detailed reports we commissioned from you that responded to earlier concerns really helped us get this application ‘over the line’. After 11 months we are finally able to progress with this project”
Credit: National Trust Images/Pat Kinsella