LOOS and a shower block have been approved for a West Dorset cider orchard holiday site within the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Dorset Council has agreed the facilities to help cope with growing visitor numbers at the Strong family site at Pineapple Lane, Waytown.

An application to the council said the concrete block building will be rendered with a green profile roof and upvc windows.

A planning agent told the council planning department that the Dorset Nectar Cider business has been in the same ownership since 2006 and had diversified to now run tours and tasting sessions on three days a week.

The business also has permission for six shepherd huts for holiday accommodation, yet to be installed, and has 14 seasonal tent camping pitches which are located between cider apples trees from April to September - the campers and other visitors having to share the existing three toilets and one shower.

The agent says that although the camping site gets good reviews mention is often made of the need for additional facilities.

The new block, measuring 6.8 by 4.5metres, will include a disabled loo and will have a new sewage treatment plant as part of the development. It will be built in a clearing in the 3,000-tree orchard, adjoining a polytunnel which has a water supply, and next to the camping area.

The consent for six shepherd huts, each with one parking space, is for a separate site south of the organic orchard with the owners also proposing to plant a vineyard.

Documents with the planning application to Dorset Council said that in a good year the orchard can produce 300 tonnes of cider apples which, with its holiday accommodation, plays an important part in the local economy in a sustainable way.