Gypsy wagon holiday let plan for vineyard near Sidmouth revealed

  Posted: 26.03.20 at 11:17 by Daniel Clark - Local Democracy Reporter

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Plans for the siting of a wheeled gypsy wagon to be used as a holiday let or for labour to assist in the running of a vineyard near Sidmouth have been revealed.

The scheme for the Vineyard, off Knapps Lane, Harpford, near Sidmouth, would see the wagon/woodman’s hut serve as a dual purpose venture.

Run by Richard Hedger, the vineyard has only just started to produce a crop, and therefore the wheeled gypsy wagon would enable temporary accommodation when extra labour is required for the vineyard and can be let to holidaymakers to provide income to finance the business.

A statement with the application, submitted this week to East Devon District Council, says: “This will enable a modest tourist attraction to be created by way of holiday accommodation to be offered during the year with the added interest of taking part in the appreciation of vineyard husbandry and its practical application. The hut will also provide the residential element for security purposes, especially when the crop reaches harvest.

“We would hope that the scale of the accommodation being small and the visual appearance of the hut which is well suited to a rural location would meet the criteria, and in the unlikely event that the venture should fail for some reason, then the hut can be removed without leaving behind a permanent building.”

The letting of the wagon would produce around £500 for the business, the statement says, enough to create part-time work for one day a week.

The statement adds that the vineyard currently creates around 1,500 bottles of wine from the current crop, but it is hoped this will rise to around 7,500 bottles.

It adds: “The vineyard is still small and young and has only just started to produce a crop. In order for the vineyard project to grow to a sustainable business, it will require many more vines being planted and considerably more finance and manpower than the client alone can give.

“Relying solely on the yearly crop to provide enough to justify a dwelling of any decent size is not a business model that is likely to succeed during the early years when expansion of the vineyard is taking place. Nevertheless, in order for the project to continue to expand, additional labour both for planting and harvesting will increasingly be required, some of which from a security point of view, needs to be residential.

“It is proposed to site a wheeled woodman’s hut/gyspy wagon that as a dual purpose venture such that it could give temporary accommodation when extra labour is required for the vineyard and can be let to holidaymakers to provide income to finance the project.”

East Devon District Council planners will determine the fate of the application at a later date.

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