Shepherd Hut and Orchard Update

The Executive Director of Place and Economy recommends that
Planning Permission is GRANTED

After careful consideration of the associated documents and public comments, Peterborough City Council’s planning department has recommended that the application for two shepherd huts is approved when it goes before committee on 3rd September.

Prior to the meeting, members of the committee will visit the site so they can assess at first hand the location within the village and the potential impact, if any, two shepherd huts are likely to have.

Shepherd hut House Rules & additional undertakings submitted to city council:

No music devices

No outdoor games

No stag or hen parties

All vehicles parked out of view

“Respect the peaceful environment” signage

No campfires

Repeatedly noisy guests will be asked to leave

Noise record sheets will be used to detail incidents

 Low wattage lighting to be used in areas screened by trees

No fireworks or sky lanterns

No dogs

No children

No halogen floodlighting

House rules displayed online to prospective guests

Google Nest cameras to monitor and alert for noise 24/7

✔ Kiln-dried wood only for wood burners

No more than two adults per hut

No additional guests allowed to camp

Smallest 2kw wood burners in each hut

No hot tubs

No guests to arrival after 8 pm

Pollution Control Officer concludes: “Shepherd huts unlikely to become a nuisance”

As the basis of their objections, neighbouring property owners at Abbotts Barn wrote to the Peterborough Pollution Control Officer highlighting the potential for noise from guests staying in the shepherd huts and nuisance from artificial light sources. After considering all the information available, it concluded that the shepherd huts in an orchard were unlikely to become a nuisance.
The Pollution Control Officer suggested the writing of a Noise Management Plan may help mitigate any potential concerns. Andrew and Janet have welcomed this suggestion.

Shepherd Hut and Orchard application receives wide-ranging approval:

Peterborough Pollution Control Officer

Peterborough Noise Consultants

The East of England Orchard Project

Peterborough City Council Tree Officer

Peterborough City Conservation Officer

Southorpe Parish Council

Peterborough Local Highways Agency

Peterborough City Wildlife Officer

Local Councillor David Over

Pea Cottage Guests

Stamford Businesses

Peterborough Heritage Consultant

Everyone in Southorpe has been made aware of the orchard plans, and approximately two-thirds of villagers have chosen to abstain or remain neutral from commenting. Of those who have objected, the majority were submitted before critically important information was made available regarding noise, traffic and visibility.

Our augmented reality photo shows Grange Farm Paddock half full of trees

The orchard is planned to provide maximum screening of the shepherd huts. Each tree will be planted in a row 4 metres apart and the rows 5 metres apart. The planting density will be as much as four times greater than other orchards in the area.

Shepherd huts will use social media to promote local businesses

In the last 12 months, Pea Cottage has used its Facebook and Instagram accounts like a self-appointed tourist board. It recommends events, shops, pubs and restaurants in the area to prospective visitors, with each post having news worthy content. Every one of the following 40 businesses has received at least two social media posts consisting of a personally written description and designed image:

Burghley House
Cafe au Chocolat
Café Black
Cat Meffan Yoga
Corn Exchange

Energy Clothing
Indie Rutland
Kafe On The Square
Lauren Crowe
Lean Pharmacy
Mad Turk
More Travel
Mud Honey
Murano Silver

No1 Kitchen
No14 Stamford
Patton & Co
Peterborough Bedding Centre
Pretty Little Stamford
Rutland Cycling
Sinead Crowe
Stamford Arts Centre
Stamford In Bloom

Stamford Streets
Stamford Winebar
Stamford Yoga
Street Food Station
The Copper Room
The George Hotel
Toby Norris
Twelve All Saints
White Hart

As with Pea Cottage, we expect some guests will initially be drawn to the prospect a quiet stay in the countryside. The role of the social media will be to sell the benefits of the region to those who may not be familar with the area.

How much screening will rows of 4 metre fruit trees provide?

Noise Report Conclusion: Shepherd Huts will not disturb anyone

Acoustic Associates have submitted a report to Peterborough City Council, stating that guests occupying two proposed shepherd huts in Grange Farm Paddock will not be unduly noisy to anyone in the village.
The test report assumed a “worst case” or unlikely scenario of:

  • All visitors choosing to ignore the “no music” guest rule.
  • Both visiting couples bring music devices of their own and playing them simultaneously outside.
  • Both couples communicating in loud voices, also sitting outside.

The findings confirm the results of a sound test carried out a few weeks ago by Carl and Andrew, which concluded that even with loud music playing, nothing could be heard from Abbott’s Barn garden.

A copy of the report can be downloaded here. Shepherd Huts Noise Report

Acoustic Associates are members of The Association of Noise Consultants and it is a respected national company with four offices, including one in Peterborough. The company is known for providing impartial reports written by highly qualified specialists when the issue of noise is a concern in matters of planning permission.

Accommodation prizes offered to local charity raffles

If you are planning a fundraising raffle for a local charity and are looking for a prize, Janet and Andrew are willing to offer a two-night break at either Pea Cottage or our planed shepherd huts. It is something we’ve been happy to do in the past for raising money for:

  • Crohn’s disease at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital
  • Teenage Cancer Trust at Addenbrooke’s Hospital
  • Maternity Care at Milton Keynes Hospital

If you’re a fundraiser for a good local cause, please get in touch as we’d like to help.

The Orchard Project Supports Planning Application

The Orchard Project is a national charity dedicated to the creation, and restoration of community orchards. The East of England office have been advising Janet and Andrew about tree densities, varieties and maintenance since the beginning of the year and our happy to support the planning application:

“The planting of a local variety orchard will provide a significant boost to the local biodiversity, providing food and habitats for a wide range of insects and birds. The planting of local heritage varieties will help to secure the long-term future of these threatened cultivars.”

Shepherd Huts worth over £500k to local economy

According to Bulley Davey, the shepherd huts in a fruit orchard will benefit the local economy by £578,000. At a time when shops and restaurants in the region are closing at an alarming rate, this extra income must surely be welcomed.

On a much larger scale, the principal of attracting more visitors to the area is already recognised by Peterborough City Council, who have made a £5 million contribution to the building of a hotel in the city.

View the official letter from Bulley Davey at this link:  Shepherd Huts Additional Value Estimation

Discount code for Southorpe Residents

Anyone living in Southorpe wishing to use Pea Cottage or the proposed shepherd huts, can qualify for a 20 % discount.

Enter discount code: SOUTHORPE20 when booking online.

This code is particularly useful if over-spill accommodation is needed when planning a large family event.

Comment from Peterborough City Council Tree Officer

“I do not believe it will have a detrimental or adverse effect on any existing trees on site. I consider the planting of an orchard to be a considerable gain in terms of tree cover and biodiversity on the site.”

Janet and Andrew welcome the comment and will be taking advice regarding the position, size and species of fruit trees to ensure that the orchard’s future perpetuity is secured.

Response from Peterborough Conservation Officer


“Provided the suggest amendments are made, from a heritage consideration there is no substantial objection.”

Janet and Andrew are willing to move the outdoor seating areas to the west of the proposed huts.

Compliance with Parish Council Requests

Janet and Andrew are happy to comply with the requests made by Southorpe Parish Council. In other words, the following conditions can be applied to the planning application:

  1. The paddock will never have more than two shepherd huts.
  2. The dry stone wall will be reinstated to help screen the huts from view when walking along the Ermine Street footpath. Combined with orchard planting, they will be obscured entirely from view.
  3. Guests will not park in Main Street.

Peterborough Local Highways Agency recommends the plans

“There is more than adequate space within the site to enable vehicles associated with the huts to carry out a turning manoeuvre and leave the site in forward gear.
This is a very low key development which would generate very little traffic.
The access into the site is approximately 5.5m wide which is acceptable. There is adequate vehicle to vehicle inter-visibility from the access in both directions which shall enable vehicles to safely emerge out onto the adjacent carriageway (public highway).”

In the last two years, Grange Farm has gone from a household owning four cars to just one. Therefore the overall increase in cars using the property’s drive and Main Street, even with the addition of shepherd hut guests will be zero.

Comment from Peterborough Wildlife Officer

Protected Species & Habitats:
“Given the nature of the proposal to site shepherd huts in the paddock, I consider that this is unlikely to impact on any protected species or habitats.”
“The site-wide proposals, including the establishment of an orchard, appear acceptable.”
“I have no objection to the proposal.
I can advise that the development will, in my opinion, result in a net gain in biodiversity.”

Extra Photos Showing  View From Shepherd Huts

Even without 200 fruit trees being planted, the impact on neighbours is negligible. Once the trees have been planted, the shepherd huts will be screened entirely from view. The following photos were taken using a standard lens, not telephoto or wide angle.

View from Shepherd Hut 1 to nearby property. Distance to the Abbotts Barn is 100 metres. All windows of Abbotts Barn completely obscured, except overhead skylight windows. Additional planting of 200 fruit trees will provide a peaceful haven for all parties.
View from Shepherd Hut 2 to nearby property. Note all windows of Abbotts Barn, except high-level skylights, are obscured totally from view. Distance to Abbotts Barn is 80 meters. Approximately 33 fruit trees will be planted in direct line of view. Using a high powered speaker placed at the site of Shepherd Hut 2, no sound was audible from within the neighbour's garden. This sound test was carried out with full participation of the neighbours.
Obstructed view of nearby property from site of Shepherd Hut 1. Note that the reinstated drystone wall and orchard planting will screen views even further.
Obstructed view of Springfield House from site of Shepherd Hut 1. Note that the reinstated drystone wall and orchard planting will screen views even further.

Pea Cottage Support Tops 30

Mr David Dunbavand / Owner of Kafae on the Square
Seems like a pleasing addition to the visitor economy in the region, with due care and attention to the local area and residents.
Mrs Helen Dooley / More Than Travel (Stamford)
I would like to welcome the additional income that visitors will generate for local businesses. In my opinion, opportunities to improve local tourism should be encouraged.
Miss Zoe Jarvis / Independent Rutland and Stamford
All things considered I think this would be a great addition to the local area.
Mr Martin Skipper / The Orchard Project
The planting of a local variety orchard will provide a significant boost to the local biodiversity, providing food and habitats for a wide range of insects and birds. The planting of local heritage varieties will help to secure the long-term future of these threatened cultivars.
Mrs Pamela Bell
The proposed development at Grange Farm will have no detrimental effect on the immediate and surrounding area. The development can only be a positive for the local economy.
Mr Terry Smith
The orchard will enhance the environment and I don’t see any reason to object to the Shepherd huts, I have stayed at pea cottage and found it extremely pleasant and professionally run. I would not hesitate to stay there or in the Shepherd huts, these people know what they are doing, very professional and inexpensive. They will encourage tourism to the area and put the place and surrounding areas firmly on the map. They need supporting in this application.
Mr Richard Brundish
The proposed development would environmentally enhance the area and would also benefit local tourism.
Mrs Kat Coroy
Having stayed at the property several times, I feel that the setting lends it self to an environmentally friendly apple orchard…The orchard would blend well with the surrounding countryside and add to the ambience of the beautiful property…
Mr Richard Gore
I would very much like to support the application to plant fruit trees and install two shepherds huts.
Mrs Lisa Knowles
I think the application for two shepherd huts in the adjoining field to Pea Cottage/Grange Farm would be a great addition. The tasteful design of the holiday let is appeasing inside and out and having an orchard view would complement the surroundings. In regards the shepherd huts, the fruit trees will act as a screen and judging by the layout of Pea Cottage they will be designed and placed thoughtfully. I do not believe that this planning application would be a detriment to the neighbouring properties, or the village location.
Mr Alan Hedges
I can see no reason why this planning application should not be approved. As a member of the public who has stayed in Grange Farm’s existing holiday accommodation I am familiar with the location and the area for which planning is sought. The Paddock is a delightful part of the grounds and the planting of fruit trees there would seem to me to be a most excellent use of this land and a welcome boost to the ecosystem and the bio diversity it would encourage. The siting of shepherd’s huts there would be entirely in keeping with the other areas of the Grange Farm grounds whilst providing a wonderful place for guests to stay and enjoy.
Mrs Claire Wilde
This enhancement to the area will enrich the location both for the local habitat and visitors. I whole-heartedly support this application, I have no doubt the project will be completed without disruption to the local residences and maintained to a high standard.
Mr Chris Hewett
A lovely spot and this proposal will only improve the surroundings.
Mrs Sally Wakefield:
Think this is a great idea and would be in keeping with the existing house.
Mrs Stella Macdougal:
This would seem excellent use of a little used paddock and the establishment of an orchard would greatly benefit pollinating insects.
Mrs Rebecca Honeywell-Ward:
Having stayed at Pea Cottage I support the proposal to add two shepherds huts. It’s a beautiful setting and will be done sensitively and will enhance the area.
Mr Vincent Coughlin:
Great idea. Orchard will be a lovely addition and the two huts will be a lovely facility for visitors to this quiet corner of England.
Mrs Jenny Cole:
I fully support this, both for the preservation of the space and also for utilising it in such a constructive and ecologically friendly way.
Mrs Helen Scott-Reed:
I visit Stamford regularly and stayed at this location before. I understand it will be a great boost for the ecosystem, and the whole paddock will be an idyllic setting for guests and I would definitely visit the area again and stay in the Shepherd Huts.
Mrs Julie Cooper-Marsh:
“I think it will be wonderful for the environment.”
Mrs Vicky Taylor:
“We have stayed at Pea Cottage previously and feel the Shepherd Huts would be a great addition to the village.”
Mrs Wendy Smith:
“Having spent a pleasant and quiet week renting Pea Cottage I cannot see any reason why the addition of a fruit orchard and two shepherd huts sited in that setting would be anything other than an improvement to the empty paddock.”
Mrs Beverley Parker-Stubbs:
“My husband and I have stayed at pea cottage a number of times and I think the idea of an orchid is lovely, I really hope this happens, it would be lovely to look out of the window and see beautiful trees.”
Mr Michael Burling:
“We have stayed at Pea Cottage & recall the adjoining paddock.
After perusing the plans for the orchard & noting the screened off location of the two proposed shepherd huts we can see no reason why this proposed development should impinge upon the privacy of neighbours.
It will provide additional & different form of accommodation to those seeking to spend time in Lincolnshire.”
Mrs Caroline Ficke:
“I trust that this development will be considerate of the environment and encourage tourism/ support the local economy.
Having stayed in Pea Cottage as a paying guest, I can recall the care and attention to ‘getting it right’ that the owner displayed and am confident that the owner would put the same care into this project.”
Mrs Julie Cooper-Marsh:
“I think it will be wonderful for the environment.”
Miss Teresa Swain:
“This would be fantastic.”
Mrs Karen Olney:
“Having stayed several times at the property, I believe the proposed plans will add greatly to the ecosystem and beauty of the land.”
Mrs Helena Mackay:
“As regular visitors to Pea Cottage we think this application should proceed as the siting of the shepherd huts looks perfect to us. The provision of more accommodation will enhance the facilities to attract more visitors to the area. This in turn should benefit your community and businesses in the area.”
Mrs Sue Schraer:
“This plan will greatly improve the environment. The planting of trees will provide much-needed habitats for the insect and birdlife in the area.”
Mrs Fiona Swain:
“I fully support the proposed plans for development of the paddock and siting of 2 shepherds huts. It would be screened from view from the road and nearby properties. It’s a beautiful place to stay for visitors and would be a welcome addition to the area – bringing responsible and authentic trade.”
Miss Lydia Francis:
“Having previously stayed on the premises, I fully support the proposed plan and feel it would benefit the surrounding area.”
Mrs Barbara Osborne:
“I believe this proposal would enhance the appearance of the site and encourage more small wildlife to the area. I think this would allow others not familiar with this location to enjoy your beautiful countryside and make a significant contribution to the local economy.”
Mrs Ruth Sheppard:
“Having stayed at Pea Cottage and having some knowledge of the locality and surrounding villages I would be very supportive of this proposal to create an orchard to enhance the area and provide an eco-friendly environment for wildlife.”

Support from Local Councillor David Over

“I am a firm supporter of appropriate economic development in the ward. I will speak in support of you if this goes to the local planning committee.”

Results from recent sound check

Last month Carl and Andrew conducted a sound test to establish whether any noise could be heard from his garden. Despite our intention to have a “no music” policy for guests, we played a high powered speaker at the site of proposed Shepherd Hut 1. We stood in Abbotts Barn Garden, no music whatsoever could be heard. Anyone wishing to have this test repeated can do so by getting in touch.

The shepherd huts will be marketed in the same way as Pea Cottage; a romantic retreat for those you appreciate the countryside. By reading the comments of support, I hope you will gain an appreciation of the kind of couples we appeal to, which is predominantly couples aged 40+ who appreciate a quiet break.

We do not allow dogs, ball games, music or anything why may disturb the peaceful surroundings.

Southorpe Village Apple Day

Janet and Andrew plan to have an annual Apple Day for Southorpe village. It is our intention to purchase a large apple press and crusher which can be used by villagers interested in juicing or cider making. We made our first batch of “Scrumpea” last year and the results were very impressive. There will be more than enough fruit for the whole village to enjoy.

End of year job vacancies

The shepherd huts will generate two part-time employment opportunities once the shepherd huts attract guests. These will be to help with primarily with cleaning and occasional orchard maintenance. The vacancies will suit anyone local looking for a relaxed working environment.
Quote from one of our current cleaners: “I have been working as a cleaner at Pea Cottage for the last three months, having taken a break from working because of health issues. The job has eased me back into the workplace in a way has been free from stress and pressure. I earn higher than a “living wage”, and Janet and Andrew have been most welcoming in terms of giving me the flexibility that I needed to be able to get back to work.” Susan, Peterborough.

Comment from Lyn Venables, Local Designer

“Janet and Andrew have been clients of mine for the last 14 years, and together, we have worked on numerous projects. The three of us take our time in arriving at design solutions, but our aim is always to achieve a relaxed and authentic Country Living look. I have recommended that both shepherd huts are the same colour and have persuaded them to choose a dark colour as I believe these look more traditional and appropriate to the surroundings. In the end, we have agreed on a Farrow and Ball colour called Railings.

At the moment, I can envisage the shepherd huts positioned at the end of tree-lined avenues. The fruit trees themselves will stand amongst wild meadow planting and the overall effect will be absolutely gorgeous.

A number of our projects have been featured editorially in national and local magazines, and I believe this will be our most tasteful project to date.”

Suffolk Hutmakers ready for an autumn build

In seeking a suitable supplier of shepherd huts, quality of build and materials has been the highest concern. Suffolk Hutmakers have a maximum capacity of six huts per year, and work has been pencilled in to start in the autumn, ready for the end of the year. The firm has been established five years and it is run by two young craftsmen, Tom and John.

“Janet and Andrew have been very specific in terms of achieving a high-end quality job. We pride ourselves on our craftsmanship and intend to make this our best piece of work. I see this project as representing a valuable future case study to be able to showcase our skills. The idea of siting of the huts in an organic orchard is awesome and they will be highly photogenic.” John Archer, Director, Suffolk Hutmakers Limited

Open invitation to visit or call

If you have any concerns about the proposed plans and would like to take a look for yourselves, you’re more than welcome. Both sites are clearly marked at “Shepherd Hut 1” and “Shepherd Hut 2” and can be accessed by climbing over our five bar gate from the public footpath. Feel free to visit with or without an appointment.

Telephone: 07432 643872

If you’d like to show your support, please visit the Peterborough Planning Portal and register a comment