Dorset to set to be the sight of a new holiday village after initial plans were approved by councillors.

West Dorset District Council's Planning Committee gave the green light to the £470 million facility at a quarry site near Crossways in the county. The Habitat First Group will be responsible for the development and has said that it will generate 600 construction jobs but has not given a definitive date for completion.

The company stated that the holiday village will be built in Warmwell Quarry which is currently used for large-scale sand and gravel extraction. Operations on the site are expected to cease by 2017 paving the way for the site to be used by tourists, caravanners and campers. After councillors approved the planning permission the project will now enter the next stage of detailed planning.

Speaking about the plans, Will Vicary, managing director of Habitat First Group, said: "We are planning to create a truly unique concept for Dorset which boosts the economy, protects and manages the environment and benefits the local community with a long-term strategic plan for the quarry."

The decision to build a holiday village in Dorset comes when the camping and caravanning industry is going through somewhat of a renaissance. Recent research by The Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan & Motorhome Show noted that children are at their happiest when they are enjoying a holiday such as this.

Officials noted that 96 per cent of children asked in the survey said they were most content when playing with their friends in the great outdoors. A further 76 per cent of youngsters that took camping or caravan holidays said they were happy with their quality of life, compared to 59 per cent who did not have these types of breaks.

Liz Murphy, senior marketing and communications director at The Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Camping is a fantastic way to holiday – not only is it an inexpensive pastime, it’s also proven to help develop closer family relationships."

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