Michael Caines disappointed by delays to new ‘dream' hotel in Devon

18 June 2015 by
Michael Caines disappointed by delays to new ‘dream' hotel in Devon

Plans by two-Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines to develop Courtlands House in Lympstone, Devon, into a luxury hotel and restaurant have been delayed by planners.

Caines, who has been executive chef at Gidleigh Park for more than 20 years, is said to be "incredibly disappointed" about the decision by the development management committee on East Devon District Council to defer making a decision about the development.

Council officers had recommended that the plans to convert the wedding venue into a 21-bedroom hotel and 60-cover restaurant be approved, but the development management committee has decided to hold a site meeting before making any decision.

In a statement, the council said it wants to "assess the impact of the proposals on the adjoining neighbouring properties and on the listed building itself and its setting".

Caines was hopeful that the green light would be given to the plans when, on Saturday, he posted on Twitter: "Cometh the week, cometh the decision. A dream becomes a reality & the reality becomes a jewel in East".

Planners intend to further consider the concerns of nearby residents about the additional noise and traffic that might occur as a result of changes to the Grade II-listed building. The plans include the development of three chalets within the 28 acres of grounds.

Caines, who is backed by private investors, has already exchanged contracts for the property. However, completion of the deal is subject to achieving full planning permission for the conversion plans. The next planning meeting will take place in July.

It is believed that Caines will leave Gidleigh Park once the Courtlands House project is close to fruition. He had originally been looking at an opening date of October 2016.

On announcing his plans for Courtlands House, Caines described the project as the realisation of a long-standing dream.

"The renovation of Courtlands into a luxury country house hotel and restaurant in a fabulous East Devon setting on the Exe estuary will enable me most fully to express my vision of hospitality in all its aspects.

"My passion for food and wine is at the heart of everything we will be working to achieve, with the intention to cook at the very highest standard and to achieve two Michelin stars here - with the aspiration to gain a third.

"The 60-cover restaurant will feature my signature, award-winning modern European cuisine that champions the fabulous produce of East Devon, the wider county of Devon and the South West."

Michael Caines plans Devon hotel opening >>

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