A MILFORD hotel has abandoned plans to build an extension on its roof – instead offering a larger extension on the ground floor to ensure its survival.
The owners of the South Lawn Hotel, Tim and Nikki Wedgwood, have blamed the coronavirus pandemic by submitting new plans for a 24-room extension – which would almost double the size of the Lymington Road facility – to the New Forest District Council.
This replaces another proposal already approved by the NFDC to expand the facility from 26 rooms to 18 rooms on a new second floor. It was approved in October 2019, but they ultimately decided it was not the right plan to move forward.
claim that the 18-room project would be “too expensive, too complex and too long” to build for the hotel to remain financially viable.NFDCLatest planning documents submitted to
The 24-room expansion would allow the company to continue doing business while “essential and much needed work” is completed at “much lower cost and within a shorter time frame”.
The architect behind the latest plans, Richard Greenwood of Benchmark Development Planning, told A&T: “The complexities and challenges posed by rooftop chamber development have been further exasperated by the significant negative effects of the pandemic.
needs further improvement to remain competitive and owners need to address the lack of accommodation.
In pre-bid discussions, the Wedgwoods suggested an alternative of transforming the site into 38 specialized accommodation apartments and assisted living units.
But NFDC agents noted letters of support for the company – including from Go New Forest – and felt that maintaining the hotel was “preferable” as it “would not have a negative impact.” on the character of the existing building or the wider environment, safety on public roads, ecology or heritage.
The NFDC will make the final decision. Comments can be submitted until March 23.