First look at holiday park with boating lakes and luxury lodges planned for Essex coast

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sail

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sailing and recreation lake and a glamping/camping paddock Picture: HONACE LTD - Credit: HONACE LTD

A Center Parcs style leisure park – complete with more than 100 holiday lodges and lakes for canoeing, sailing and fishing – could open in Brightlingsea by 2025 if a major planning application wins approval.

What one of the luxury holiday lodges at the Center Parcs style park could look like Picture: HONACE

What one of the luxury holiday lodges at the Center Parcs style park could look like Picture: HONACE LTD - Credit: HONACE LTD

Developers Honace Ltd have submitted proposals for a new luxury leisure retreat on the site of a former quarry in Robinson Road.

Tents, teepees and yurts for glamorous camping or ‘glamping’ could also feature at the holiday park – aimed at putting Brightlingsea on the map and attracting hundreds of tourists to the area from Suffolk, Norfolk and beyond.

Children’s play areas, man-made beaches, boating jetties and a clubhouse and reception building with a cafe – called ‘The Barrow’ – also feature in the plans.

Design specifications suggest the sprawling holiday village will offer an outdoor leisure experience “similar to a Center Parcs environment”, making use of the various lakes on the site.

Five lakes already exist on the site of a former quarry in Robinson Road, Brightlingsea Picture: HON

Five lakes already exist on the site of a former quarry in Robinson Road, Brightlingsea Picture: HONACE LTD - Credit: HONACE LTD


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In their planning document to Tendring District Council, developers describe the village as “a place for families to visit, relax, run free and unwind, by providing short breaks within an open outdoor environment”.

They added: “(It would also be) a place to experience and enjoy outdoor activities such as walking, cycling, riding, fishing, sailing, canoeing and water sports – and a place supporting the local economy, showcasing Brightlingsea as a town.”

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If approved, work would start in summer 2019 with a view to finishing the build between 2025 and 2029.

The luxury holiday lodges – aimed at tourists looking for ‘mid to high end’ accommodation – would be of varying sizes.

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sail

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sailing and recreation lake and a glamping/camping paddock Picture: HONACE LTD - Credit: HONACE LTD

The majority – 51 – of the lodges are one bedroom, 41 are two bedroom, nine are three bedroom and four luxury lodges have four bedrooms with panoramic views of the site.

Similar to Center Parcs, some of the properties will feature private kitchens and bathrooms plus al fresco dining areas with hot tubs, barbecues and woodburners.

Woodland on the site will also allow visitors to engage in activities such as walking, cycling and geo-caching.

If everything goes to plan holidaymakers would be able to book weekend, midweek or week-long trips.

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sail

If approved, the plans for Brightlingsea could feature woodland lodges, a children's play area, sailing and recreation lake and a glamping/camping paddock Picture: HONACE LTD - Credit: HONACE LTD

People living in the town have had their say on the proposed development in the comments section of the application.

One resident, Karen Hine, said: “I think an upmarket tourist development will bring more visitors to the town for more local shops to keep the high street alive.”

She added: “This would establish Brightlingsea as an upmarket tourist spot.”

Developers plan to give careful consideration to the visual impact of the attraction, particularly against the natural countryside.

They are doing this after hearing views from the public during a consultation – and to prevent any eyesores, developers plan to screen the park from neighbours using trees and bushes already running along Robinson Road and Marsh Farm.

Existing wildlife habitats will also be maintained and enhanced – developers do not expect large volumes of additional traffic to be generated by the attraction, and they already have access roads earmarked.

In Tendring District Council’s Local Plan for 2013-2033 and beyond, the Lower Park Farm development is described as follows: “Tourism is worth more than £276million to Tendring District with many of our jobs related in some way to tourism.

“The Lower Farm Park development will bring new investment to Brightlingsea and will support its economic growth through new employment opportunities and an increase in tourist footfall to local shops, cafes and restaurants.”

Despite this, developers say the application is still in its early stages.

It will go before Tendring District Council’s planning committee in due course.

For a closer look at the plans, visit this link.

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