The Caterer

Grotto Estate plans given green light

29 January 2019 by
Grotto Estate plans given green light

Plans to transform the Grotto Estate near Pangbourne in Berkshire into a hotel and members' club have been given the go-ahead.

West Berkshire Council has granted planning consent for the Grade ll-listed main house, constructed as a riverside retreat for Lady Fane in the early 18th century, to be converted into a 53-bedroom hotel with a restaurant and bars.

This also includes the construction of six new two-bedroom detached lodges associated with the hotel and the replacement of several dilapidated outbuildings to create new leisure facilities.

The house will feature first-floor conservatory, and restore the property's oval room on the ground floor as well as restoration work to the white painted brick façade.

In the grounds, the tennis courts will be refurbished, the boathouse will be reinstated, a 20th century studio building will be replaced by a two-storey spa and gym with outdoor pool and a ‘coach house' extension will be built, linked to the original building by a glazed walkway, to accommodate 19 of the guestrooms.

The woodland lodges will be single storey, timber-clad modules with a mezzanine sleeping area within the roof space. The consent also includes permission for two detached family houses, which will be for private purchase in the original grounds of the Grotto.

Harry Harris, founder of SUSD, the developer overseeing the £32m project, said: "The reinstatement of the Grotto Estate as a luxurious country retreat will demand close attention to detail, careful selection of materials and an observance of traditional detailing and construction methods.

The building had most recently been used as offices, serving as the headquarters of the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM) for 50 years. James Hull purchased the estate in 2008 with the intention to return the property into a home, which proved unviable, and so the property has since sat vacant and was in a "poor state of repair". The site is owned as a joint venture between Hull and SUSD.

Devonshire Club linked to Grotto House hotel development >>

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