The latest battle to transform the former country home of Lord Beaverbrook in Surrey into a world-class luxury hotel and golf course is to be fought out tomorrow by Mole Valley District Council.
Both the council and developer Longshot have been given leave to appeal following the decision by a High Court judge to quash plans to turn Grade-II-listed Cherkley Court, near Leatherhead, into a 48-bedroom luxury hotel with an exclusive golf club, two restaurants, health club, spa and cookery school.
A special council meeting will tomorrow debate whether to continue with plans for the appeal. The meeting is open to the public and will be webcast.
John Northcott, councillor for planning, told the BBC that the council decided to appeal because it believed the decision to grant permission for the development in 2012 was legitimate. If given the go ahead, the hotel and golf course would being economic investment and growth to Mole Valley, he added.
The development is opposed by the Cherkley Campaign and the Campaign to Protect Rural England who say the plans will adversely impact the green belt landscape of the North Down. They also believe there is no need for an additional golf course in a county which already has 141.
Longshot, set up in 1994 by Joel Cadbury and Ollie Vigors, has had interests in a range of restaurants, clubs and pubs. In 2010, it bought the Orchid Group's Bel & the Dragon pub business.
The one-time home of the Beaverbrook family was opened to the public in 2003, but the venture proved uneconomic and the property was sold to Longshot, off an asking price of £20m, in April 2011.