Luxury tree houses could be new Cowdray tourist venture

Some of the tree houses would have a view of the Cowdray Ruins
Some of the tree houses would have a view of the Cowdray Ruins

State-of-the-art luxury tree houses could be the next ‘must have’ holiday destination for people in the Midhurst area if a new Cowdray Estate project takes shape.

The estate is having ‘pre-application’ talks with planning officers at the South Downs National Park to see if it could get the go- ahead for ‘tree house tourism accommodation’.

The project is a joint venture between the estate and Blue Forest Bespoke Luxury Treehouses, a company based in East Sussex, which is developing ‘exclusive sustainable tree house holiday accommodation’ on sites across Britain though its Tree House Retreats (THR) venture.

The idea is to put ten tree house lodges on a site hidden by trees (but not supported by them) close to the Cowdray Polo Park, with views across to the Ruins.

A further ten could be placed next to the Cowdray Golf Course

In its pre-plan information, Blue Forest says its ‘new low impact holiday accommodation venture’ leases and develops sites on prestigious country estates ‘creating an idyllic mix of wonderful handcrafted tree houses in some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes’.

In a supporting statement, Lord Cowdray said the estate was committed to sustainable development benefitting the community through ‘employment opportunities, secondary spend and accommodating tourism which remains a key objective of the national park’.

“The proposal represents two organisations who share a joint ethos and vision for both preserving and enhancing the unique local environment.”

In initial advice, planners said the two sites needed ‘careful consideration’ not just because they were in the park but because they were both part of the grade 11 listed historic park and garden and the golf course site was designated as ‘ancient woodland’.

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