A POPULAR racecourse could see the construction of 18 new holiday lodges, if a planning application is approved.

The Holker Group is proposing to build the new lodges on a site at Cartmel Racecourse in a bid to offer "integral high-quality overnight accommodation".

The applicants planning statement, submitted to South Lakeland District Council, says: "Situated within the grounds of the racecourse at Cartmel Park, adjoining the village of Cartmel, the site covers an area of approximately 0.9 hectares.

"The site is made up of a former sewage treatment compound, currently utilised for ad-hoc materials and equipment storage, and part of the adjacent camping and caravanning field."

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"The development proposal is for 18 twin unit lodges of timber appearance for holiday letting purposes and associated operational development.

In the statement, The Holker Group maintains that the development will benefit the local economy.

"The Holker Group owns and operate the renowned Cartmel Racecourse that makes a significant positive contribution to the identity and prosperity of Cartmel," it says.

"Race meetings are held on several days in the jumps season with thousands attending the events.

"At present, nine meetings are held.

"Outside of the racing calendar, it is the venue for a range of corporate and social events and functions.

"It is a licensed wedding venue.

"In order to maintain a competitive advantage and be able to offer the most attractive of marketing packages, the Racecourse would like to be able to offer integral high-quality accommodation in the form of on-site lodges.

"The Holker Group has longstanding experience of caravan parks gained from its operation of Old Park Wood at Holker Hall and Longlands at Kirkby-in-Furness."

The proposal aims to connect the new development to the existing sewer network, and addressing the potential issue of increased traffic, the statement says: "The development will mainly provide overnight accommodation to those already having a reason to attend Cartmel Racecourse, and is anticipated to generate minimal traffic increase onto Headless Cross."

The Holker Group submitted the application along with a separate proposal to build 18 twin-unit timber holiday lodges at the site of Humphrey Head, near Flookburgh, and to close the outdoor education centre that is currently in operation there.

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