Quirky accommodation plan 'absolutely critical' to survival of award-winning Northumberland pub

Plans have been lodged for quirky new accommodation to sustain an award-winning Northumberland pub.

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 4:45 pm

Stablewood Developments, owners of the Apple Inn at Lucker, have submitted a planning application to put four shepherd’s huts on land opposite the pub.

A report alongside the application outlines the importance of bringing in extra revenue due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

It states: ‘The proposal seeks to provide much-needed additional accommodation in order to assist and sustain the long-term viability of the existing business at The Apple Inn.

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The Apple Inn at Lucker.

‘Due to the recent Covid-19 situation, the whole of the leisure industry in the UK has been devastated by the closure and limitations put on businesses.

‘It will take a considerable amount of time before businesses are able to re-establish a solid trading base and the need to offer more accommodation is absolutely critical to the Apple Inn’s future survival and viability.

‘It is clear that the quieter holiday periods of the year will be more testing going forward and the need to broaden its income opportunity will be vital.’

It is envisaged the proposed shepherds huts will help independent travellers such as cyclists and walkers seeking overnight accommodation but requiring more open space than the pub’s two existing rooms.

The proposed site of four shepherds huts in Lucker.

Each shepherds hut would consist of a shower room, toilet and bedroom for two people with heating and electricity provided.

Four parking bays would be provided on the hard-standing area adjacent to Millstone and Old Mill Cottage.

The huts would be near the Waren Burn and have their own separate access via the existing parking area which serves The Apple Core.

‘All works will be carried out to the highest standard,’ states a report on the applicant’s behalf. ‘The property owners have carried out several significant developments in the village and surrounding area and have an established reputation.’

In April, The Apple Inn was named best pub in the region at the North East Tourism Awards, an accolade it also won in 2018.

Stablewood was set up in 2011 by Tina Johnson. Her son, Johny, runs the Apple Inn and Apple Core with his wife, Lauren.

The family also operate Stablewood Coastal Cottages, while Daniel and Aimee Johnson run the nearby Beau Monde five-star spa facility.

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