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Holiday homes market full up

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 13, 2013

By Leslie Jackson

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THE number of holiday cottages in parts of the Staffordshire Moorlands has reached "saturation" point, it has been claimed.

Figures that have been released show that there are 224 bed accommodation places available just within a 1.5 mile radius of Waterhouses.

The statement has been made following a planning application for the change of use of two holiday units to local needs housing at Rocester Barn, Rocester Lane, Waterhouses.

In a marketing report and supporting statement conducted by Bagshaws, on behalf of the applicants Mr and Mrs Ian Harvey, it lists 18 nearby cottages which sleep between four and 40 guests.

These include Hamps Hall, Broadhurst Farm Cottages and Throwley Moor holiday cottages.

The report said: "There is an abundance of rural cottages in and around the village of Waterhouses, and in conjunction with holidaymakers number dropping, this has led to a saturated market in the area.

"Of particular note is Hamps Hall and barn, also located in Rocester Lane, which was granted planning permission to convert into holiday accommodation.

"The huge capacity for up to 40 guests has had a big impact on the local market.

"In addition to Hamps Hall there are at least a further two units, which offer capacity for up to 30 guests combined.

"Only a few miles away the popular villages of Ilam, Alstonefield and Wetton provide numerous self-catering holidays."

Rocester Barn has already been given planning permission to be converted into two holiday units, comprising a one -bedroom and three-bedroom unit. The layout of the building would remain unchanged.

The report from Bagshaws added: "The property still remains unfinished as the projected return from the holiday cottage income does not justify the cost of the work to complete the two units

"There are also security issues with the barn being unoccupied and not being visible from another property.

"Mr and Mrs Harvey are committed to coming up with a use for the barn that would be both viable for them to run and that would sustainably benefit the community. It is felt that the proposal offers a practical solution to the problem and will meet the needs of both the applicant and the local community."

At its monthly meeting last week members of Waterhouses Parish Council raised no objection to the property being converted into local needs housing. A decision on the application is expected with the next eight weeks.

A spokesman for Staffordshire Moorlands District Council said: "The Staffordshire Moorlands Tourism Study (2011) identified the potential for future modest growth in the visitor economy including from self-catering accommodation.

"Tourism is vitally important to the Moorland economy."

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