PLANS have been put forward to create Cheshire's first 'container glamping' site which would also include a cafe and farm shop.

The proposed development on land at Old Hall Farm in Tilston, near Malpas, would provide 10 glamping pods made from converted shipping containers.

There are currently a number of 'container glamping' sites in the UK – such as in the West Country and Ceredigion – but this would be the first in Cheshire if it was to get the go-ahead.

The planning application has been submitted to Cheshire West and Chester Council by Robert and Janet Bostock, who own the land and have farmed the site since 1991, with the development being named 'The Farmers Field'.

The proposal includes:

  • A new retail business promoting produce from the farm and local suppliers.
  • An on-farm café championing the family's home-produced coffee and milk, which will include 50 covers and additional outside seating.
  • A coffee roaster, pasteuriser and campsite amenity facilities.
  • 10 sustainable glamping units.
  • 32 car parking spaces for site users.
  • Landscaping of the field to include conservation zones, a feature waterway and new tree planting.
  • New permissive paths across the farm for guests to access public footpaths and sites of interest.

Chester and District Standard:

The planning application states: "The proposed development would add to the variety of campsites available in the wider area and provide a boost to the visitor economy – which may prove to be critical over the next few years as the county recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

"There are no other ‘container glamping’ sites in Cheshire. The proposal would add to the range and variety of rural visitor facilities, and its siting close to several footpaths and cycle routes will encourage rural activities.

"The proposal will therefore look to fill a niche. The range of units to be provided will appeal to a wide range, including families and couples, and the unique nature of the site will appeal to those looking for a bespoke experience.

"The containers will be renovated and finished to provide a quality appearance, to remove their starker industrial edge whilst retaining a quirky and unique character."

The application adds that one of the main reasons behind the project is the need to develop the business to create the space and income needed for the next generation of the family to commit to its long-term future.

The farming business is currently economically secure but the application refers to four key factors – agricultural inflation, reduction in farm subsidies, Covid-19, and consumers’ attitude to milk and meat consumption – which means continuing to achieve this position will become increasingly difficult.

Robert and Janet Bostock state in the application: "Our primary business is a large, grazing-based dairy farm, which we are justly proud of, but the future is uncertain.

"We now need to utilise our strengths which, we feel are; our beautiful farm, our produce and the skills held in the family to create a new diversified income to the business.

"This development will enable the next generation of the family to join the business in a sustainable way."