An exterior of a decar lodge at Palstone Lodges

Can ethical eco-lodges in secluded South Hams location repeat sell-out success?

A community of secluded, ethical South Hams eco holiday lodges, which took reservations on every unit in under a month when they came to market in 2007, is releasing the next phase of lodges and plots to buy.
Renowned for its sense of community, stunning landscaped plots and planting matured over a quarter of a century, the plots and lodges at Palstone, just five minutes from the pretty Devon village of South Brent, are expected to be in huge demand following the sell-out success of phase one.
Unlike many holiday homes in Devon, the 23 available lodges/plots do not diminish the local housing stock as they can’t be used as a permanent residency, which means that second home owners can buy in the knowledge that they are not preventing locals from getting on the property ladder.
Built for exclusive use by owners, their friends and family only, the lodges have been designed to provide a real sense of privacy without isolation. Unlike many lodge developments which offer a more commercial aspect, Palstone meets a need for people looking for a peaceful environment where you can get to know your neighbours, who also have a likeminded attitude to their holidays.
The phase two ‘Meadow’ lodges, which will all be constructed from cedar wood to blend in with their surroundings and to create a ‘cabin in the woods’ feel, will each come with contemporary decking, terraces and floor to ceiling windows that flood the rooms with natural light and accentuate the stunning views over the grounds. Dartmoor, Brent Hill – the site of an Iron Age hill fort – and the enchanting South Hams can all be seen from the grounds.
Outside, each lodge takes in vistas of acers and specimen trees, wild flowers, rare and unusual plants such as aralias, gunnera and flowering dogwoods alongside native species that have been planted to encourage wildlife, butterflies, birds and bees.
Over 1,000 varieties of plant from all over the world, including shrubs and herbaceous plants, many of which were around when the dinosaurs roamed the planet, can be found at Palstone, a registered honey bee friendly site that has received the prestigious David Bellamy award for conservation.
Of the five lodges currently available to buy on site, two bedroom lodges can be purchased from £195,000 rising to £255,000 for a three bedroom eco-lodge. Deliberately priced by owners Matt and Sally to be cheaper than equivalent houses in the local area, the lodges, which are free from both Stamp Duty and Council Tax, aim to provide good value for money.
Inside the stunning , bespoke lodges come with a family bathroom and ensuite for the master bedroom, a design-led kitchen, and large, open plan living space with either French or sliding doors that lead on to decking area and either two or three bedrooms.
Innovative touches include floating walls in the two bedroom Pathfinder lodge, which divide the bed area from the dressing area. Design features embrace everything from oak floors and contemporary radiators to sumptuous hardwood worktops, boiling taps, underfloor heating, wine coolers, central kitchen islands and master bedrooms with ”his and hers” sinks. All lodges come with the option for satellite TV and fibre optic superfast broadband internet.
For those wanting their own bespoke lodge, the remaining 18 plots allow purchasers to choose their own design and layout from a selection of luxurious Retreat or Pathfinder lodges. Each plot has a 125-year licence and annual service charges of £2,750, plus VAT this covers: garden and grounds maintenance, servicing of security entry gates and re dressing and upkeep of roads.
Commenting on the launch of The Meadow, Matt Morgan, co-owner of Palstone said: “The launch of The Meadow takes the Palstone Lodge story to the next stage. We landscaped the locations for the new lodges with great care many years ago, and we’ve kept true to our commitment to provide generous plots with stunning views, privacy and carefully tended gardens.
“We aim to provide the perfect home from home without any of the hassle of maintenance, yet with all the delights of this enchanting part of Devon. As often as you like you can escape, step back, take time out and enjoy the wonders of the natural environment on the doorstep.
“The vibrant town of Totnes is just 8 miles away and the pretty village of South Brent with its artisan shops and friendly locals is only a short walk away, so you’ll never be short of something to do or wonderful produce to sample.
“With Dartmoor at the back door, sandy beaches, rocky coves and secluded inlets within striking distance, it’s a perfect place for young families or retirees, and it’s well situated for local services. We also have a gated entrance providing an added sense of security and peace of mind, particularly for those with young families.”
Matt added: “We believe we fill a gap in the market that enables second home buyers to purchase a stand-out property at a great price and in a wonderful location without taking valuable stock from first-time buyers looking to buy and live locally. If you like, it’s the ‘ethical’ way of buying a second home, and as such we anticipate a great deal of interest from those looking to be a part of a community without affecting the local community.”
Punnets of blackberries, raspberries and redcurrants
Duchy of Cornwall Otter for Moor Otters Public Arts Initiative
Children play at Cofton Holidays with mascot Digby the Dinosaur
Front view of Valeport's riverbank premises in Totnes
'Elementary My Dear Otter' by Ann L. Roe