The Rempstone Estate, situated on Dorset’s Isle of Purbeck, close to Corfe Castle and Studland Bay, had for many years been operating a successful 130 pitch tented holiday campsite. The Estate initially asked PSL for suggestions on how to improve the profitability of the existing tented site – but PSL quickly identified that the real potential of this beautiful location lay with the development of luxury forest holiday lodges.
PS Consulting Ltd undertook the initial research and business evaluation to demonstrate the potential of this £3.5m development to the Estate Trustees. They also led the planning strategy to show that such a development would follow the objectives of the Local Authority Tourism Development plan for the area and although the site was within an AONB, an economic case offset by a wider area conservation strategy would fit favourably with the Council’s planning objectives.
Planning Solutions Ltd then made the planning application on behalf of the Estate for a year 1 development of 12 lodges and year two second phase development of 10 lodges. Given that the site was situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and bordered a SSSI site – gaining planning permission was a protracted exercise.
PSL then created the formal business plan for the development to allow the Estate to raise the necessary capital and established a contract with Hoseasons to market the lodges for an initial two year period from launch.
The first 12 Lodges opened for business in May 2015, alongside the remaining tented plots and have achieved 80% occupancy in their first season’s trading. PSL provided the reservations office facility for the Estate for this first year.
Michael Stickland, PSL’s Managing Director, remains on the Board of the campsite and Lodge operating company.