PLANS to provide camping pods on a farm in south Cumbria in a bid to support an agricultural business in a time of ‘great uncertainty’ for the industry are set to be turned down by the council.

Members of South Lakeland local area planning committee for Westmorland and Furness Council are recommended to refuse plans from Chris and Daniel Pickthall to install three camping pods on Ecclerigg Hall Farm in Killington.

In a report prepared for the committee planning officers state: “The application site is located within the open countryside and within an unsustainable location as the occupants of the holiday units would be reliant on a private vehicle to access services.

“The applicant has submitted the application on the basis that the proposed development is a farm diversification scheme. Farm diversification is only considered justification for new holiday units in the open countryside in circumstances where the proposed units are considered ‘temporary and mobile’.

“As the proposed units are considered permanent buildings, and the applicant hasn’t demonstrated any exceptional circumstances, the application is not acceptable in principle. Additionally, the proposal would cause landscape harm, due to the proposed siting of the holiday units.”

However, planning documents say the proposal is of ‘high importance’ to the applicants’ farming business who are seeking to support the longevity of their farming enterprise.

A cover letter adds: “The proposal is sought as a farm diversification scheme to support their existing rural business in a time of great uncertainty for the agricultural industry.”

The council refused the most recent application in October due to concerns the units were not ‘temporary’ and the site was ‘unsuitable’. Planning officers also stated the applicant failed to provide a ‘sufficient’ ecological assessment of the site.

According to a cover letter submitted with the plans, the applicant argues the proposal are for a farm diversification scheme and therefore meet planning rules and has submitted reports detailing the ecological impacts of the plans.

Planning documents add the applicant would provide ‘visitor experience packages’, promoting local businesses, attractions, local footpaths and cycle routes as well as providing guests with a hamper of local produce for use during their stay.

Members of South Lakeland local area planning committee will discuss the proposals on February 15 at Kendal Town Hall.