How rural Preston could cash in on staycations

Rural Preston could position itself to take advantage of a staycation boom as holidaymakers rethink their travel plans during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 20th August 2020, 8:57 pm
Updated Thursday, 20th August 2020, 9:00 pm

That is the assessment of a planning agent who has worked on a series of holiday chalet developments to the north of the city.

Jake Salisbury is currently representing an applicant who wants to build four timber cabins on land off Button Street near Whitechapel.

Last month, the go-ahead was given for seven such units on nearby Bleasdale Road, with another development of five chalets planned for neighbouring Otters Den – two of which are already available.

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Holiday chalets could be set to spring up near the Forest of Bowland - the design of an approved scheme in Whitechapel (top and bottom left, images: Graham Anthony Associates) and the style for another development in the area for which planning permission is being sought (right, image: Norwegian Log Buildings Limited)

Mr. Salisbury said that the leisure clients he represents across the country are reporting a boom in bookings – and he believes that the area around the Forest of Bowland is particularly well-placed to become a holiday-at-home hotspot.

“The devastating impacts of the coronavirus have caused lots of individuals, particularly families, to rethink their summer holiday plans – and, more significantly, their weekend city breaks.

“Looking at Lancashire – and particularly the Forest of Bowland – this presents a completely unique opportunity to target an entirely new client base that would never have considered a rural chalet holiday.

“Hopefully, the guests that do come will fall in love with Lancashire’s countryside and our traditional pubs and restaurants. I think we have lots to offer in Lancashire, we just need to ensure that we make the most of this opportunity,” added Mr. Salisbury of Garstang-based Graham Anthony Associates.

The Button Street application, which has this week been lodged with Preston City Council, proposes a mix of one and two-bedroomed cabins, provisionally based on a design by the chalet manufacturer Norwegian Log.

However, the Local Democracy Reporting Service understands that exact styles are yet to be decided and the application relates simply to the principle of using the land for holiday dwellings.

If approved, the chalets will be managed by the nearby Fairhurst bungalow.

Planning documents state that recent planting will offer screening for the development, which will also be landscaped.

There will be a parking space for each of the units, which will be laid out in an arc formation.