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Darwin Escapes' five-star resort in Somerset has been granted planning permission by the Cheddar Parish Council planning committee. The resort currently holds around 170 lodges, to which it plans to add a further 24 chalets, a car park, a new entrance, and changes to its landscape.

Following the positive result at the council meeting at the beginning of May, a Cheddar Woods spokesman said: “We have worked very closely with Sedgemoor throughout the planning process, during which a number of revisions were made to address environmental concerns and to ensure these new lodges would bring something new to Cheddar Woods.”

“We believe the resort is a great asset for the community, attracting visitors to Cheddar throughout the year, and employing nearly 50 people on a full-time basis, as well as a number of part-time staff and a core team of around 50 cleaners.”

Yet not everyone seemed to view the project in such a favorable light. The vice chairman of the Cheddar Parish Council’s planning committee, Clive Panchaud, expressed his deep disappointment at the decision to go ahead with the plans.

He said: “The ‘minor extension’ certainly is not minor for the extra number applied for, and as this land is in an area of outstanding natural beauty, such sites are given the highest protection against development by the National Planning Policy Framework and this appears to have been totally ignored.”

Source: The Weston Mercury

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