Newly married couples could spend their wedding nights in wooden huts at Barton Marina thanks to a major new tourism plan for the site.
A lack of overnight accommodation at the marina in Barton under Needwood has discouraged potential couples from using the marina complex for their wedding receptions. Now new plans to change the use of land at the site into 20 tourist accommodation pods has been submitted.
Barton Turns Developments Limited has applied to East Staffordshire Borough Council's planning department for permission. The land used is within the existing marina complex and measures just over two acres.
A pod is described as a small wooden structure and is often used for glamping (glamorous camping). A report to the council said the 20 pods were to be used for holiday accommodation, overnight stays in connection with events such as weddings at the marina complex.
Marchington-based JVH Town Planning Consultants Ltd, acting as agents to the applications, said in the report: "The main purpose of the proposal is to enable overnight accommodation to be available for both the bridal party and other wedding/function guests using the marina complex.
"This site is a popular wedding venue, however a lack of overnight accommodation has put some potential couples off from holding their reception on the site. The proposal would enable guests from having to move from the site late in the evening by private car or taxi to alternative accommodation nearby.
"In this regard this scheme is considered a more sustainable outcome than the current arrangements reducing vehicle movements and thereby reducing the use of fossil fuels and generation of harmful pollution.
"The proposal would also help support the existing businesses on the site and safeguard local jobs as more weddings and functions will be able to be accommodated for by the enhancement of the facilities."
The report added that the proposal would not generate additional traffic as the accommodation is proposed for existing users of the complex both as wedding/function guests or those using the canal, and aims to reduce traffic movements.
All the pods will be either on wheeled bases or easily movable and not attached to the ground other than by their service connections.
Other developments at Barton Marina
The marina is in the midst of creating lakeside apartments. Family-owned Cameron Homes is building the 54 two-bedroom apartments at Barton Marina, and regular visitors to the area are now seeing that the building work is taking shape.
The scheme, called Lakeside Apartments, has attracted strong interest since its launch earlier this year and the first two blocks of homes are now almost sold out.