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.
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.