Chepstow yurts are a tourist attraction, say Monmouthshire owners

A ROW has broken out over a development of yurts which the owner says brought 1,193 visitors to Monmouthshire last year.

Peter Copp, who runs Hidden Valley Yurts, in Llanishen, Chepstow, with his wife Amanda said he cannot understand why there has been so many objections to the site, which he estimates brought an income of £200,000 into the county in 2011.

The Copp family are seeking planning permission from the local authority for the erection of four more yurts which will take the number up to ten with associated decking.

However, the council's planning document said a condition imposed on a previous application limiting the number of yurts to ten was incorrect as the application was for five.

It also says there is a lack of clarity over the area permitted for the yurts, which Mr Copp disputes as he said they had permission to locate them all over the field at Lower Glyn Farm.

The council has also received 15 responses from neighbours objecting to the plans, citing concerns such as ambiguity over the number of yurts allowed in the first place, noise, traffic and claims they are spoiling the countryside.

The Copp family, who set up Hidden Valley Yurts six years ago, said there was no objections originally and they have grown over time.

Nobody can explain what their problem is and if they talked to me we could resolve it, he said.

The couple started the campsite to diversify away from the farm and say the yurts, which are described as a Mongolian nomadic tent, are popular with visitors, being fully insulated and furnished with a log burning stove.

Such developments have been called glamping or glamorous camping sites because of their improvement on the conventional tent.

Planners are recommending councillors refuse the latest plans for the site.

The document says the planning enforcement section has had to investigate numerous complaints about the development, such as the introduction of picnic tables and chairs there.

It adds the main issues are not the principle of development but the effect on residents and the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Further yurts, it said, would be an over development and the four new ones would be less well screened by woodland, causing harm to the natural beauty of the area.

Mr Copp has emailed members of the council's planning committee putting his points across, saying he plans to appeal if the application is refused.

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