Tempers have hit boiling point over controversial plans to create a hot tub glamping attraction on farm land at Renwick.
Scott Robson, who is based in Sunderland, has applied to build 10 eco glamping pods on land 500 metres south of Renwick on the border of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Several residents have joined the Environment Agency in opposing the plans, which they claim will destroy the natural habitat for local wildlife.
Kenneth Wilson lives directly next to the site and is one of the residents objecting.
He said: “The applicant lives in Sunderland and has no local connection.
“The application is made on the grounds that it is eco, but it includes outdoor hot tubs, which are environmentally extremely damaging because of all the power they consume.
“They are proposing to discharge the chemicals from the hot tubs into Raven Beck, which is home to otters. I look out of my window and see the site, and see deer, red squirrels and curlew there. Their habitat will be destroyed.”
The application also includes a new access point and 30 solar panels and has sparked a flier campaign in Kirkoswald parish, which has called the proposal “monstrous”.
Another resident, Judith Slater, said: “It’s at the bottom of Hartside on the edge of the North Pennines AONB so we get a lot of cyclists down the narrow roads. It will not only be dangerous but completely ruin the beautiful area.”
Sue Quinn, chairman of Kirkoswald Parish Council, said: “There is such a lot of feeling about this in the community. We will listen to the people we serve, as we always try to do, and come up with a balanced view.”
The applicant, Scott Robson, said: “We have submitted a planning proposal for a self-sustainable rural camping pods to improve the biodiversity of the site.
We are positively engaging with the planning department and all stakeholders involved in the project.”
He declined to comment further while the planning process is ongoing, but architect Seb Salisbury, of Preston-based RPS Design Group Ltd, said: “The application was submitted following positive pre-application discussions with the local council.”
The Environment Agency objected to the application due to the lack of a flood risk assessment despite some parts of the proposed development having a high risk of flooding.
In a letter from the organisation, planning advisor Jeremy Pickup, said: “A flood risk assessment is vital to making informed planning decisions. In its absence, the flood risks posed by the development flood are unknown.
“This is sufficient reason for refusing planning permission.”
An Eden District Council spokesman said there was not set date for a decision to be made.