Plans for new North Cumbrian visitor attraction submitted

A VIBRANT community hub and visitor destination with spa are at the centre of exciting plans submitted to Carlisle City Council.

Under the plans, a farm shop, cafe, exhibition space and spa would be created at Haithwaite Farm at Penton, near Longtown, Carlisle.

The proposals also include a heritage centre focusing on the history of the Border Reivers, craft workshops showcasing work by local artists, a taphouse bar and small distillery.

The redevelopment of the derelict and redundant buildings at Haithwaite Farm would regenerate and diversify the traditional farmstead, creating an ecotourism, cultural and heritage hub.

The proposed development would focus on sustainability through its use of renewable energy sources including photovoltaic panels, ground source heating and rainwater harvesting, and feature a rewilding project to boost biodiversity on the site.

During the construction process, as much of the existing structure of the farm would be preserved as possible and materials reused where appropriate.

The application has been put forward by Netherby Hall Ltd, which operates Netherby Hall and Pentonbridge Inn, which are also near Longtown.

Gerald Smith, who is a director of Netherby Hall Ltd, said: “The plans aim to create a destination for the community and visitors which would provide more reasons for people to visit this part of the world, and in turn support local businesses and the wider economy.

“Haithwaite Farm provides an opportunity to regenerate a key part of the landscape by diversifying the traditional farmstead and would allow us to respond to the changing environmental and economic climate requirements through green tourism, renewable energy and the importance of a sense of place for the local community.

“Our vision is to contribute towards a vibrant, successful economy in North Cumbria through a sensitive, sustainable development which will benefit the local area for many years to come.”

The Haithwaite development would see the existing farmhouse and outbuildings transformed into self-catering accommodation, as well as new office space and staff accommodation for Netherby Hall Ltd.

Plans to create safe road access to the site from the nearby B6318 are also included in the proposals.

The submission of the planning application follows a well-attended local consultation event in February at Netherby Hall from which the team incorporated many of the positive suggestions made by the public including ensuring that the car parks were integrated into the landscape, taking a dark skies approach to lighting levels at night, and increasing the size of the spa.

Gerald said the plans were a natural extension for Netherby Hall Ltd, which currently offers luxury self-catering apartments and cottages at Netherby Hall, and fine dining at its award-winning restaurant-with-rooms at Pentonbridge Inn.

He added: “We’re really excited about the proposed development at Haithwaite and the opportunities it could potentially bring to North Cumbria.”

For more information about the proposed development visit www.haithwaite.org

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