A holiday let complex at Quex is expected to be given the go-ahead

The holiday let site at Quex

Farm buildings at Quex will be converted to create a holiday let complex.

A planning application is expected to be given the green light during a meeting of Thanet  next week.

Quex estate, in Birchington, plans to convert barns on the site to create 9 holiday lets and create one further building to contain two more.

In total the development will provide 1 x 1 bedroom holiday let, 9 x 2-bedroom holiday lets and 1 x 3-bedroom holiday let, each with their own kitchens, bathrooms and self-contained accommodation.  There will also be a club room and reception.

The remainder of the rebuilt barn will be the subject of a separate commercial application to follow.

The buildings are arranged around an open former farmyard with areas fenced off for livestock, chickens, sheep and pigs.

In a planning statement Quex says: “This helps create the traditional farmyard character and provides an additional attraction for family holidays. The change of use to holiday lets is considered the most complementary use.

“There are adjacent residential properties which mean that the buildings are not as suitable for commercial uses. Quex Barn has a shop and café which will provide local facilities for the holiday makers.

“The proposal includes discrete parking areas for one car for each unit, access will be via an existing access road in the park. Visitor parking can be catered for in the existing Quex Barn Car Park which is large enough to accommodate the limited additional capacity.

“While the development will increase traffic generation, the holiday use of the units will only result in a low level of movements compared to the present level of use. These movements will not be at peak times and will not therefore result in any significant increase in movements. The buildings are all single storey and therefore will provide good disabled access.

“The whole philosophy behind the scheme is to retain and restore the historic character of the site without significantly increasing the level of built development or the number of people in the area.”

The proposal, which is recommended for approval, is supported by Thanet council’s tourism manager.

In a report to planning committee councillors they say: “The council is aware that there is a lack of bed spaces in the district for the visitor economy, particularly during weekends and during the summer period.

“Between 2013 and 2015 the visitor economy grew by 19% (the total value reached £293 million) making it the biggest district tourism success story in the county of Kent and arguably the whole of the UK. More importantly overnight trips also increased by 24%, while direct expenditure for Thanet was up 20%, which is 10 times that for the rest of England.

“The council and its partners are directly promoting the need for suitable visitor accommodation in the district. The current on-site mix of leisure and activity uses at Quex Park represents a good critical mass of activities, which would help to support (and service) future accommodation uses. It can be estimated that every visitor who stays in self-catering accommodation contributes £391 to the local economy.

“Thanet District Council’s Tourism Service would like to give support to the expansion of additional quality holiday lodge accommodation on the Quex Park Estate.”

Quex estate

The planning officer recommends approval, saying it will bring: “significant economic benefits to the local area and a positive contribution to Thanet’s visitor economy; as the scheme would create jobs during the construction period and once the holiday let use is in its day-to-day operation and furthermore future occupants could bring additional expenditure in the area.”

The planning committee meets at Thanet council offices on October 18 at 7pm.