Quirky ‘hut hamlet’ gets go-ahead at historic hall

Photo Neil Cross'Sharon Jones of Samlesbury Hall with joiner Pete Fryer looking forward to a new 'hut hamlet' at Samlesbury Hall

Photo Neil Cross'Sharon Jones of Samlesbury Hall with joiner Pete Fryer looking forward to a new 'hut hamlet' at Samlesbury Hall

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Bosses at Samlesbury Hall are celebrating getting the go-ahead for a new ‘hut hamlet’ development.

The scheme will see 28 shepherd huts, a tree house and extended play area built on land at the 700-year-old Grade I listed building.

Trustees say the development is key to generating additional revenue to sustain the Hall, and have managed to allay fears of some neighbours who objected over noise and privacy concerns.

“We’re absolutely delighted”, said Sharon Jones, hall director.

“We’re hoping to do 10 huts this year and the rest next year, then the tree house the year after.

“It’s a three year plan. We’ve not got all the money to do it all at once, and we’re hoping to get some grant funding.”

She added: “Our main income is weddings and that helps keep the hall maintained, but it doesn’t provide enough for things such as a new roof which we’ll need over the next 15 years, which will cost about £500,000.

“The wedding business can also fluctuate and it dipped for us last year because we didn’t have accommodation. Now the bookings we’ve taken for next year are amazing.

“It’s very quirky and unique, and this year’s weddings have been pressuring me to get it done, they’re going absolutely crazy for it.”

The huts and tree house are being made by Kirkham-based Pete Fryer, and have been inspired by visits to look at other schemes across the country, including glamping at Warwick Castle and a tree house at Alnwick Castle.

The huts will be built on existing golf course grounds which have become unsustainable. Each solar-powered unit would sleep three people and provide washing facilities linked to a new septic treatment plant. Catering facilities would be provided in the proposed treehouse and Hall.

Sharon, who thanked trustees for their support, said: “I love Lancashire and I’ve tried to get as much of everything done in Lancashire as I can.”