Approval recommended for Northamptonshire village B&B's controversial expansion plans

Councillors will decide tomorrow on plan to build holiday-let, lodges and bell tents

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 6:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:40 am

A Northamptonshire B&B's expansion plans have been recommended for approval by a council officer despite garnering opposition from villagers.

Dodford Grange wants to build two one-bed lodges, a new four-bed holiday-let building and five bell tents on its land to the northwest of the current building in Dodford.

Dodford Parish Meeting, 21 residents and a district councillor have all objected to the scheme, citing concerns over its size, location and impact on the village.

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Dodford Grange

A Daventry District Council planning officer believes the plan should be approved ahead of a planning committee meeting tomorrow (Wednesday, March 24).

"The principle of development should be supported as it will result in a small scale tourism development for the locality which is supported by policy," their report says.

"The character of the locality will be impacted as a result of the development, however given the proposed layout and appearance the character of the village will remain.

"The site is well screened and the development will lead to additional planting.

"The proposal is unlikely to result in a detrimental impact to residential amenity through noise and disturbance."

Dodford Grange wants to put the extra accommodation in its garden and a paddock on the corner of the A45 and Main Road to diversify its offering.

The B&B's application claims the new holiday-let building would be ideal for bridal parties to get ready in before their wedding, while the bell tents and lodges would be for guests.

"We are currently a small B&B which primarily targets the guests of several local wedding venues along with the accommodation needs of local businesses," a document reads.

"Whilst we offer a maximum of five rooms, we are confident that there is potential for much greater occupancy and we would also like to diversify in terms of the type of accommodation we can offer.

"We envisage that there are four separate markets that this proposal, along with the existing B&B, can legitimately target."

Dodford Parish Meeting said the proposal 'shows a callous contempt for the right of nearby local residents to reasonably expect the right of peace and tranquility in their homes and gardens'.

The council claims nearby wedding venue Dodford Manor has expressed objections, sufficient for it to remove Dodford Grange from its approved accommodation list.

"The noise from loud conversation, car movements, car music and ongoing outdoor socialising so close to nearby residences is wholly unacceptable," its statement added.

Weedon ward councillor Johnnie Amos also has 'grave concerns' about the scheme due to the threat to the village's 'peaceful nature' from excessive noise.

Dodford Grange's owners deny it would be detrimental to neighbours and the village, instead it would bring more jobs to the area and tourists.