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Business & Economy

Staycations driving £20m regional leisure developments according to planning specialist

A farm experience centre and lodge park in County Durham are among proposed new developments driving a ‘buoyant’ regional leisure sector, according to a North East planning firm.

Hedley Planning Services, which has offices in Hexham and Wynyard, has been instructed to provide planning services on more than ten possible North East and Yorkshire leisure developments.

In a move that could see upwards of 150 new holiday lodges and cabins built in the next 12 months, it is working with holiday and leisure operators to bring forward plans for new lets in Redcar, Cleveland, Hambleton, Beamish and Yorkshire among other locations.

The firm is also steering through plans for a new barn building near Consett along with up to 37 holiday lodges, many of which will accommodate families who have a family member with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

It is estimated that proposed schemes could generate in excess of £20 million worth of high-quality leisure-style accommodation regionwide, supporting upwards of 300 new jobs in the construction and associated supply chain.

Director Joe Ridgeon (pictured) said “We are seeing a lot of activity as leisure sector operators push forward their plans to tap into the staycation market. But it’s the projects that offer a new experience or all-round different holiday experience that will gain the most traction from a planning perspective.

“For example, Woodland Park Farm’sdevelopment will see disabled and disadvantaged youngsters have family holidays while enjoying a whole raft of new interactive experiences in a safe and secure environment.

“It’s clear that operators and developers across the leisure sector must have to think and act differently if they are to get their schemes off the ground. This requires long term strategic input, planning and vision to maximise success – and firms like ours can help with advice and ideas.”