Plans to build glamping tents at Florence Nightingale heritage site in Holloway spark mass objections

A heritage site in Holloway known for its links to ‘lady with the lamp’ Florence Nightingale might soon become land with glamping if its owners get their way – but the plans are proving controversial in the surrounding community.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 7:47 pm
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 7:51 pm

The Lea Hurst estate first belonged to Derwent Valley cotton pioneer Peter Nightingale, Florence’s great uncle, and became her family’s summer home – historic connections which have earned it grade II listed status.

But current owner Peter Kay is now looking to add to a recently launched bed and breakfast service by erecting three semi-permanent glamping tents in the house’s walled orchard.

Plans submitted to Amber Valley Borough Council in July have attracted more than 90 objections so far from residents concerned about the potential impact on the protected parkland setting of the house.

Lea Hurst, in Holloway, is the historic home of 19th century nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.
Lea Hurst, in Holloway, is the historic home of 19th century nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

Comments also reference factors such as traffic, noise, a perceived absence of consultation, and the increasing commercialisation of the site.

A submission from Dethick, Lea and Holloway Parish Council said: “The proposal will bring substantial harm to the setting of the heritage asset, and is alien in form and type within the historic setting.

“At no time have there been structures of scale and size similar tothose proposed within the walled garden."

As well as its own protections, Lea Hurst sits within a conservation area and the ‘buffer zone’ of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site – partly intended to obstruct any development which is out of character.

While the application says the three tents would be screened from view by the orchard walls, new planting and green textile drapes, not everyone is convinced.

The structures are intended to stay in place for ten years, and would stand 3.45 metres tall, 16 metres long, and six metres wide.

While limits are in place on the number of guestrooms allowed on site, the applicant intends to swap some of that allocation for the tents. Derbyshire County Council says any additional impact on traffic would be minimal.

A decision on the application is expected by September 7. For full details, search for AVA/2020/0615 at www.ambervalley.gov.uk.