New three-storey corporate retreat to be built on the edge of Windermere

A proposal to create a corporate retreat on the shores of Windermere has been approved by a Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) committee.

The project is to see a three-storey building on stilts erected at the Waterside Wood Activity Centre site, situated around three miles south of Bowness. The applicant is also planning to have a separate, two-storey pavilion constructed housing a gym, sauna and steam room as well as an ‘infinity pool’ on an external terrace.

A garage would also be built to house three vehicles. Joel Firth appeared before the LDNPA’s development control committee on Wednesday to speak in support of the plan on behalf of applicant Alex Mollart. He addressed concerns over the size of the planned main structure, saying it would be of a ‘similar height’ to the building that would be demolished to make way for it.

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“From the road [the A592], you’ll still look directly over the building rather than at it,” he said.

Mr Firth said the 12 parking spaces currently at the location would be reduced to five including the spaces in the garage. The plan is for electric vehicles at the site to use these spaces and transport guests to and from the retreat if necessary.

Committee member Mark Kidd told the meeting: “It is quite a modern design. However, our policies don’t stop that. For that particular plot of land, the main defining characteristic is the woodland, and I think this design fits in quite nicely with the woodland.”

The site was previously used for outdoor education activities and was operated by The Scout Association. The main building that is to be constructed is to include three guest bedrooms, a dining room, communal seating areas, a kitchen and an external terrace.

Mr Firth said he did not envisage there being more than one bed per room. The application was approved by the committee subject to a number of conditions, including that a change-of-use application would need to be submitted if the site owner ever wanted to use it as a holiday let.

Lancs Live – Cumbria