Restoration and conversion of WW2 Stanton Shelters into 20 new lodges refused

Plans for the restoration and conversion of WW2 Stanton Shelters into 20 new ‘high-quality’ lodges have been refused.

Proposals, submitted by Mr and Mrs Ritson, would have seen the 20 lodges built on woodland off Blyton Road, Laughton, Gainsborough.

The application sought to obtain Full Planning Permission for:

  • The full restoration of one Stanton Air Raid Shelter that exists on the site
  • The restoration and sensitive conversion of the remaining three Stanton Air Raid Shelters that exist on the site for use as holiday accommodation
  • Provide an additional 18 ‘unique’ holiday accommodation lodges on the existing accommodation foundations
  • Two linked lodges for Caretaker and family, also on existing accommodation foundations
  • Improve the existing poor-quality woodland and enhance the natural habitat
  • 30 car parking spaces

The site currently comprises just under one hectare of a 1.2 hectare woodland, which is located in the open countryside between Blyton and Laughton

There are 23 large and four small concrete plinths, and four Stanton shelters within the application area, which are remnants of a rare Second World War military installation.

During WWII, the site functioned as ‘Dispersed Site No. 8’ of RAF Blyton during its operation from 1942 to 1945.

This site was purely for accommodation use and was the site of Nissen huts in three zones for Officer, Sergeant and aircrew accommodation, safely dispersed from one another in case of enemy attack.

The surviving concrete plinths would have originally held temporary buildings for accommodation, storage, and latrines, with the four Stanton shelters (manufactured by the Stanton Ironworks near Nottingham) located close at hand in the event of air raids.

These four shelters are now believed to be the last surviving buildings from RAF Blyton, aside from a small sentry hut by the entrance to the racing circuit, which is disused and now in the advanced stages of decay.

Previously, the applicant applied for planning permission on this site for the change of use of woodland area to form a glamping site consisting of the conversion of four Stanton shelters and the siting of 26 portable wooden lodges on July 24, 2018, however, this was refused permission on September 14, 2018

Members of the planning committee stated the reason for the refusal was due to the area being in ‘an isolated unsustainable open countryside location with no pedestrian footpaths or street lighting.’

The decision was also made due to members stating: “The proposed change of use will not preserve the WW2 heritage value of the Stanton Shelters or their existing woodland setting through inappropriate conversion and the introduction of 20 lodges within their setting.”