Roanhead Lodge Resort lodge, ILM, p planning

Proposed lodges would range from having one bedroom to four. Credit: via planning documents

Resort with 450 eco-lodges envisioned for Barrow

Developer ILM Group has submitted outline plans for a holiday destination on 136 acres of Cumbrian farmland.

An anticipated 130,000 guests a year could visit the 450-cabin Roanhead Lodge Resort if the project comes to fruition, according to an economic report by consultant HATCH.

If Westmorland and Furness Council approves ILM’s application, the resort would be built on the Roanhead Farm, off Hawthwaite Lane near Barrow-in-Furness.

The farm is owned by brothers John and James Curtis, whose family have been working the land since 1965. The two are now in their 70s and are engaged with ILM on the plans for a vacation hotspot on part of the farm.

Roanhead Lodge Resort would hold 450 modular, energy-efficient lodges made of timber cladding with green roofs. These cabins would be delivered in phases, with 230 constructed initially, followed by 220 in the second phase.

The resort would also hold a 33,700 sq ft core facility building with areas for food and drink, shops, play areas, and a reception area.

A separate 12,900 sq ft spa complex would have treatment suites and a wellness hub. There would also be a 23,700 sq ft leisure facility with a fitness area, indoor pool, and changing rooms.

Several of the older farm buildings on the site would be repurposed for guest use, while the more modern ones would be demolished.

Plans submitted by consultant Enzygo on ILM’s behalf call for a more than 10% biodiversity net gain as a result of the proposals, including the creation of woodland areas on the farmland and the planting of hedgerows, erection of tree-mounted bat boxes, and building of insect hotels.

Access to the site is currently via Hawthwaite Lane and Oak Lea Road. The outline plans include proposals for highway safety changes to accommodate the increased traffic. There is also a second proposed access point from Lots Road.

Netherlands-headquartered Landal GreenParks is lined up to operate the resort if it is built. Landal GreenParks was founded in 1954 and currently runs more than 100 resorts across Europe, including North Lakes in Lake District National Park, Kielder Waterside in Hexham, and Darwin Forest in Derbyshire.

Roanhead Lodge Resort would also create 279 full-time direct jobs, according to HATCH. The consultancy estimated that the holiday park had the potential to deliver £362m GVA to the economy within 10 years.

Roanhead Lodge Resort, ILM, p West

A spa facility is one of several buildings proposed for the Roanhead Farm as part of it becoming a resort. Credit: via 32 West

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, has voiced her support for the resort.

“As destination management organisation for the county, Cumbria Tourism’s long-term ambition is to sustainably grow the value of the visitor economy and its offer, year-round and countywide,” Haigh said.

“Reflecting specifically on how the proposal aligns with Cumbria Tourism’s Strategy and objectives, it has the potential to offer transformational benefits to Barrow and Furness, increasing the attractiveness of the area as a place to live, work, visit and explore.”

DesignTM is the masterplanner for the project, which features architecture envisioned by Fazackerley Design.

In addition to being the project’s planning consultant, Enzygo is advising on geo-environmental, noise, and air matters.

SLR is the ecologist and is working with Vectos on transport concerns.

Lanpro is the project’s archaeologist, while SMC Leisure is advising on the leisure aspect of the plan.

You can learn more about the proposals by using application reference number B06/2023/0307 on Westmorland and Furness Council’s planning portal for Barrow-in-Furness.

Your Comments

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I think it’s a brilliant idea will bring much needed economy to the town

By Anonymous

Gross. Damaging. Far too much. No no no

By Anonymous

I think it’s a great project for the area. Much better than letting BAE buy the whole town

By Karen Johnson

Absolute disaster for a beautiful unspoilt area should this go ahead.

By Anonymous

I just googled the Roanhead resort. Every article is about the controversy. It would have a devastating impact on the National Nature Reserve at Sandscale Haws, and Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Natural England, the National Trust, Woodland Trust and Friends of the Lake District are all against it. It will never happen, far too damaging and in completely the wrong place.

By Anonymous

One lodge in a sea of meadow grass and wildflowers looks grand – no one would object to this – 450 on tight cut turf and tamac access routes – not so lovely

By E Mason

Outlandish resort planned for this SSI area with poor transport access. It is absolutely not eco as the noise and light pollution alone will cause irreparable damage to the nature that surrounds this site. It would be a disgrace if it were allowed to be built.

By Anonymous

You’re kidding, this is not in any way going to enhance the area. It will ruin a beauty spot of great natural habitat.
Cumbria tourism is under threat because they cant get staffing numbers up so why create something so large.

By Graham Lowther

Not sure how building what seems to be a self-contained resort will have any real positive impact on Barrow

By Anonymous

Its a great idea, the town has natural capital, and needs outside investment. But 130,000 people a year. In this location. The general public wouldnt respect the habitat/SSI, and it would be decimated, littered or disposably BBQ’d into submission. The infrastructure down to the beach is utterly incapable of dealing with 50 cars, further along the coast maybe this would work, but this scheme would be a disaster.

By Alan Partridge

450 cabins. That’s 450 new groups of people every single week. All wanting to use the dunes, with no real sense of the ecological sensitivities of a coastal dune habitat. Next week, another 450 households. The impact will be huge.
What about the sound? Already someone drives a quad quietly along Askam beach and it can be heard right down at Sandscale Hawes (locally known as Roanhead). Sound carries so easily across the bay. Big changes for Askam folk as well as the wildlife.

By BitBaffledByItAll

Possible idea but NOT AT ROANHEAD

By Anonymous

Entirely at the wrong place, it would be a disaster for the area on all levels, and won’t bring anything like the revenue they predict. Don’t believe everything they are promising.

By Anonymous

Roan Head… A beautiful place of outstanding natural beauty.

What would the local community find positive about this development?
Who will benefit from this huge development?
What will this development offer the local community… The list goes on.

Not the wonderful location
Not the wildlife and nature
Not the local businesses in the surrounding areas of Furness
Not the roads with a huge influx of traffic. Just to name a few.

People enjoying holidays at these kinds of resorts, don’t usually pay huge amounts of money to leave a resort, to spend days in local areas.

I for one, am not impressed by this development for so many reasons. I did go to the Forum 28 to voice my concerns. I read all the literature that was pinned to the huge boards. Everything I read was obviously in support of this development in a positive way. (No surprise there.)

I had not realised how colossal this development actually was going to be. There were definitely a lot of members of the public apposing the development from going forward. In my opinion, the developers were actually going to do very little, as not a lot of things were going to be disturbed /disrupted … Seriously.

Yes, the lodges and the actual park looked impressive if you were going for a holiday, but this, in all honesty, would be so detrimental to a location of natural beauty. The consequences of such a development are truly devastating.

This development will truly, in my opinion, steal away beauty and wildlife on a huge scale. Do not take away the natural beauty that Great Mother Nature so kindly gifted us with. It’s pure and simple, destruction.
Save Roanhead!

By Evelyn Corkill.

After looking at this more closely, i agree its far larger than i realised and for sure that will have an impact in many ways. If approved, I do hope that it is done sensitively because I have seen what rampant tourism has done in the lakes.
However, there are wider issues to contend with here. I see a whole lot of ‘Not in my back yard’ types present in the comments. Suddenly everyone is an amateur environmentalist. This particular area was once quite heavily mined and later farmed, hardly environmentally friendly practices regarding natural habitat. Barrow has a completely dead town centre, and unless you work for BAE there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities. The town has a ‘i’m alright jack’ (I work for BAE) mentality. I don’t care what you say. the town needs some diversity in its economy and if people come to the area, they will visit. Its up to the town to respond to that and stimulate that interest. Now i’m not saying that it needs to become a tourist mecca, but I for one would love to see a thriving town centre. it would stimulate small business and promote growth in infrastructure. This particular development would not do that alone, granted. But you have to begin somewhere, and if your stock standard answer to everything is ‘No’, then i’m afraid you are only thinking about yourself. Barrow could be so much more if people were less inward looking and thought a little more about what might benefit other people too.

By outsider

A reminder that the Place North West comments policy includes a request for brevity. We’ve had several essay-length comments come through on this article. As always, we encourage members of the public to engage with the formal consultation procedures to ensure their voice is heard during the planning process. – J

By Julia Hatmaker

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