'Caviar-eating champagne-drinkers' fear for Forest of Dean yurts
A LITTLE touch of Mongolia is on its way to the Forest of Dean – but villagers aren't happy about it.
Plans for five yurts to be built on land at Dursley Cross Farm, near Longhope and May Hill, were given approval on Thursday.
It was given the go-ahead in spite of neighbouring residents' concerns that the yurts – large circular tents originating in Mongolia – would be "out of keeping" and "alien" to the area and spoil its natural beauty.
A petition with 67 signatures was handed in to planners at Forest of Dean District Council, with dozens of other letters objecting to the tourism scheme.
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One concerned neighbour wanted it thrown out on the grounds that the target market would be people who enjoy "all nighters, with lots of champagne, caviar and chat".
Longhope Parish Council added its objections too, with concerns about pollution, noise and security. The saga has been played out on the public blog of Nicola Mills, who along with husband Gary, is renovating Dursley Cross Farmhouse and is behind the yurt venture.
She said: "We are hoping to start a rural business that will support the local economy and provide our family with a future at Dursley Cross.
"The type of people that stay in yurts are intelligent couples or young families with disposable income. They come to relax and get away from the daily grind."
No power will run to the yurts, which will be heated with wood burners and lit with solar fairy lights.
They will accommodate a maximum of four people each.
Planning permission was also granted to convert part of the Grade II listed farmhouse into a washroom.