Luskentyre Beach: Glamping pod plan scrapped as petition tops 10,000

Plans to build eight glamping pods at Luskentyre Beach have been scrapped following a wave of protest.

The application by Andrew Bartlett, of Croft 1, Luskentyre, has been withdrawn from the planning department at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

The proposals to build the glamping pods on a strip of machair by the dunes of the world-famous beach prompted a petition which today had more than 10,000 backers.

Official objections were also lodged by West Harris Trust, South Harris Community Council and the owners of the neighbouring island of Taransay.

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    Luskentyre Beach on the Isle of Harris. Plans to build eight glamping pods by the dunes of the world-famous beach have now been withdrawn.

    Following the application's withdrawal, Alan Ross, chairman of South Harris Community Council, said: “Clearly the amount of objections that have been raised have had an impact.”

    The community council raised concerns about overcrowding of croft land at Luskentyre and the impact of traffic around the village – including the cemetery - following the proposals.

    The long-term impact of the rising price of crofts was also highlighted by Mr Ross.

    Documents supporting the application set out the nature of the glamping site, which was designed to fall into the "higher end of the quality spectrum” and attract a “higher quality of clientele”.

    A night in a pod, which will sleep up to four people, to cost around £120.

    It is understood there was some difficulty delivering the pods to the site, with one stuck by the roadside after it couldn’t be moved over the grid at the village.

    The glamping site sits within the South Lewis, Harris & North Uist National Scenic Area (NSA), and mostly within the Luskentyre Banks & Saltings Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

    NatureScot, the government agency which protects the natural environment, said it did not believe the “special qualities of the NSA would be adversely affected” given the scale and nature of the development.

    Meanwhile, The Protect and Save Luskentyre petition claimed the “natural beauty” of Luskentyre was now under “real treat”, with the pods set to cause “irreparable ecological damage” while bringing little benefit to local community .

    The petition said: “We are approaching this as concerned stewards of a fragile ecology, and require that our voices are heard before short-sighted steps are taken that will forever change Luskentyre for both residents and visitors for years to come."

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