Arran could soon be home to a new luxury glamping site.

A proposal has been submitted to North Ayrshire Council to transform overgrown land in Whiting Bay into a year-round shepherd’s huts holiday retreat.

Applicant Suzanne Sell is seeking planning permission for a change of use to accomodate three shepherd’s huts that would cater for couples and singles.

The plans also includes on-site parking, bicycle storage and hire and a recycling area.

Documents supporting the application say the proposed development would be situated on 1715 m2 of land at Burn Brae – on the edge of the village.

The site has not been used for any purpose for more than 20 years.

A design and access statement prepared by architects Glampitect as part of the application says: “The proposed site, owned by a local Arran resident, will provide an exciting new accommodation option whilst remaining small-scale.

“It is intended by the site operator that this site will be amongst the best available in the area, with exclusive facilities and privacy.

“The proposal would be providing an exciting new alternative to the area, providing guests with a secluded, high-quality Shepherd hut experience.

“The units would be rented out on a three-night minimum and up to one-week basis. Guests would be couples, or single people. Party groups will not be permitted.

“The site will offer contemporary accommodation to visitors which is within a suitable travel distance from Glasgow, other areas of the central belt and further afield across the country, thus being suitable for weekend trips and short breaks.

“The owner has advised that the ground has become overgrown with large bramble patches,so these would be cleared and reseeded with grass and wildflowers to encourage biodiversity.

“A small flock of Soay sheep would be introduced to help maintain the field and to create a natural setting for the Shepherd huts. This will also help reduce the requirement for grass cutting machinery.”

An example of a shepherd’s hut

Example of a typical interior of a shepherd's hut
Example of a typical interior of a shepherd’s hut

Glampitect, acting as agents for Miss Sell, say the proposal would have wider benefits for Arran in general.

The statement went on: “The owner of the site has over 15 years experience in the island’s tourism sector. They have managed a successful holiday letting business, managed local retailers and worked in a seasonal adventure-tourism business.

“This means they have in-depth knowledge of managing visitors, marketing to tourists and working with local trades and businesses. This experience has led them to propose this luxury glamping experience with sustainable tourism in mind.

“The proposal will create an economic benefit to the surrounding area and local businesses and provide a high-quality vacation facility for guests.

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“The operator also intends to build on existing relationships they have with other local businesses in the area to offer their goods and services to the guests, including taxi services, shops, pubs, and restaurants to name but a few.

“The operator will be promoting these services within the huts along with providing the guests with local knowledge of the many beauty spots to visit, allowing them to connect with nature and the surrounding area.”

Council planners are expected to make a recommendation on the application in due course.

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published 2022-06-11 11:46:17