Eco-service station with 60 solar powered 'eco-lodges' approved

Dawn of the eco-service station: Site with 120 EV chargers, cycling track, electric car showroom and 60 solar powered ‘eco-lodges’ where travellers can stay for up to £200 a night gets the (very) green light

  • It includes 60 ‘eco-lodges’ where travellers can stay for up to £200 a night

Ambitious plans have been approved which could signal the end of traditional motorway services in favour of new ultra-green electric car charging stations complete with solar powered roadside hotels. 

The new site off the A3 near Buriton, Hampshire was approved in March and will feature a host of green amenities including 120 EV charging points, a cycling track and 60 solar powered ‘eco-lodges’ where travellers can stay for up to £200 a night. 

The enormous project, which is being developed by a top London company, will also house a farm shop selling local produce and an electric car showroom. 

It’s thought the new plans, which were approved on appeal after being rejected last year, will cost an estimated £10 to £12 million to complete. 

It is located in the South Downs National Park and many reservations to the eco- project have ironically been factored around the environmental impact the new build would have on its local environment with some fearing it was a case of ‘overdevelopment.’ 

Travellers will get the chance to stay in one of the new custom built eco-lodges 

The new site will go ahead after initially being blocked by the local council 

However, after an appeal, the site was given the green light this year with inspector Michael Boniface remarking: ‘The development has been designed to work with the site characteristics, maintaining and enhancing positive features such as the stream and boundary planting.’ 

He also stressed there were ‘clear and obvious advantages arising from the scheme in combating climate change’.

One of the lead developers of the project, Barry Angel was also enthusiastic of the site’s potential, saying: ‘Everything is completely green and organic. We’re going to have 60 eco-lodges, which are all off-grid. There will even be somewhere to rent e-bikes from.’ 

However local reaction to the development was less warm. 

Reacting to the planning request, one concerned resident said: ‘The size of the proposal and the supply and servicing activity it would require is inappropriate to the rural setting.

‘It would increase the flooding and pollution risks and would increase noise and traffic, particularly during unsociable hours.’ 

Another raged: ‘This is the most ridiculous planning aplication. This is green field and if any type of planning is allowed there will be pollution of every sort. 

‘A total eyesore and traffic as well as noise.’

It will have 60 eco-lodges which will cost from £100-£200 a night to stay in 

There will also be an integrated cycle and running track for people to make use of 

The new development will be built around a communal meadow which will be left to wild 

Once completed, the site will have 44 two bed and 16 one bed eco-lodges which will cost £100 to £200 per nights stay. 

Each lodge will come with an EV charging point and ‘outdoor dining space overlooking a communal meadow.’ 

The developers claim that each eco-lodge will be ‘prefabricated off-site’ and are ‘designed to last a minimum of three generations’ leaving ‘no permanent site impact.’ 

The application continues to state that the lodges are clad in ‘photovoltaic panels and [have] a net zero carbon footprint.’

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