A FORMER builders’ yard in rural West Dorset could become a campsite – if Dorset Council planners agree.

An application has been submitted for the change of use on an eighth of an acre site opposite stable buildings in Ridgeback Lane between West Milton and South Poorton.

Documents with the application say the site will be used as a “private retreat campsite” and includes an application to build a field-shelter shed measuring 5.5m by 2.75m which will house a shower, toilet and kitchenette as well as space for rubbish and recycling bins.

The application from Mr Richard Maya, who lives in Shepton Mallettt, says that the builders’ yard use finished in October 2010.

In a covering letter to the council he says: “What I would now like to do is to offer the space as an exclusive use, private, luxury camping retreat. It is to be targeted at couples or small families visiting the area, who can enjoy an off-grid, low ecological impact stay in a self-catering, luxurious, campsite setting, benefitting from great access to many local attractions. The site plan would consist of a 4 metre diameter tent dwelling, such as a bell tent, or yurt, and a field-shelter styled facilities building to accommodate a composting toilet, a shower room, a kitchenette, and a storage area to contain gardening & maintenance equipment, separated bins for recycling, water storage, a solar power plant and propane gas supply. The site would also benefit from a fire-pit area in the south corner, with a wildflower meadow patch running adjacent along the bottom of the bank, an open-air dining area (including a fixed barbecue stand) in the west corner where the views are best, and next to that a habitat area of rotting wood which will hopefully accommodate some golden crested newts; a native, protected species.

In the interest of optimising the biodiversity of the site, I am planting fruit trees, have kept in place 2 hollowed out tree stumps to encourage local bats to nest here, and I also intend to erect nesting boxes for birds on the facilities building.”

Public comments on the application, 2022/07635 remain open until April 10th.