Thank you to everyone who responded to our recent survey about eco-accommodation pods at Glenan. Your feedback is invaluable and has helped us to the shape the project. We thought it would be useful to give you an overview of the results and to let you know how we have responded to your feedback and concerns.
Overall the response was overwhelmingly positive, with 40% 'choosing Strongly Support' the project and 37.5% choosing 'Somewhat Support the Project'. However, respondents did raise some concerns, including impact on the woodland and wildlife, increased traffic and the scale of the project.
A number of respondents, particularly those who chose ‘Somewhat Support’, shared their concerns about Site C, which is the large grassy area closest to the woodland. Quite a few respondents stated they don't want to see development on this site, as it would be the most intrusive and have the most impact on the public’s enjoyment of Glenan. Site C was also the least popular option in question 3 when we asked respondents to rate preferred locations. Location B, the area of scrubby woodland to the right of the road, was the most popular choice for the location.
For this reason, we have ruled out Site C as a location for development. We have chosen Site B as the preferred location.
The preferred option for the type of accommodation was was a ‘mix of a bunkhouse and pods’, although some people did raise concerns about bunkhouses attracting large groups. The second preferred option was ‘pods’. People also raised concerns about the scale of the project and expressed a desire to keep this project small-scale and low-impact.
For this reason, we have ruled out the bunkhouse option for now.
We propose to limit the project to 6 small pods with the potential to sleep 4 people. These timber pods will be designed to sit within the landscape. A small (toilet/shower/kitchen block would be built for use by guests in the pods.
Concerns were raised about the impact of the project would have on traffic to the area.
For this reason, we have taken the decision to rule out the option of motorhome hook ups at Glenan.
We will focus on attracting people who arrive on foot, by bike, by kayak, by bus. We will do this in a number of ways:
Our marketing will focus on this target group. We will link up with various trails (Argyll Sea Kayak Trail, Bikepacking Trail, Cowal Way, Five Ferries etc).
Our accommodation will be suited to their needs, with comfortable yet basic accommodation and facilities such as a small drying room and storage facilities for bikes and kayaks.
We will incentivise people to arrive ‘under their own steam’ with a discounted rate.
Impact on the woodland and wildlife
Concerns were also raised about the impact of the development on the landscape, woodland and wildlife. The pods will be small, well-designed and made of local timber. They will be designed and constructed to have as limited as possible impact on wildlife and the climate. Options include composting toilets and natural insulation. We will reduce light pollution at night by installing shutters on the pods. Apart from the pods and the shower block, there will be no additional lighting on the site.
Fire risk, rubbish, general disturbance
A few people shared concerns about fire risk, rubbish and general disturbance, which we have taken on board. The grassy area at Glenan has become a popular spot for wild campers in recent years, with many arriving by car, lighting fires near the woodland and leaving rubbish including broken glass and abandoned tents. Our Forest Ranger is now able to monitor and manage this and we believe that having a well-managed pod site will discourage this irresponsible and uncontrolled camping. Our pods will be aimed at individuals and small groups, and we can make sure we don’t take large group bookings. Fires will not be allowed on site and guests will be fully briefed on fire risks and the damage it could do to the woodland.
A large group of survey respondents showed an interest in a wildlife/ heritage centre and in wildlife hides. We have taken this on board and will look at how we can develop this in future phases.
An interest was also shown in food production, such as an orchard and a polytunnel, and this is something we will look at for the future too. Site A is a potential location for this.
A number of respondents mentioned the important of accessibility and we will make sure that at least one of our pods is fully accessible.
We will now seek Planning Permission for the project on Site B. This will consist of 6 small pods, a small toilet/kitchen block for the pods and a small parking area. The design of the pods is yet to be finalised.
In the future we would like to develop a small visitor centre, with wildlife/heritage education, kayak/bike storage and the option of a small bunkroom. This would also be on Site B
If you have any other questions. Ideas, concerns or feedback, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.