A DEAL has been done for the dilapidated Lyndhurst Park Hotel which has been bought by a new developer with plans to build housing.
Hoburne Development confirmed to the A&T today (Friday) that it has purchased the gateway site on the edge of Lyndhurst for an undisclosed sum.
The landmark building has controversially been the subject of two failed attempts by retirement company Pegasus Life for about 90 homes, mostly for older people, which were opposed by hundreds of villagers.
New owner Hoburne Development is the sister firm to Highcliffe-based Hoburne Holiday Parks, which are both owned by parent company Burry and Knight Ltd.
The A&T first revealed the likely deal in September amid a flurry of activity at the site with machinery being dropped off and Pegasus signs removed from the fencing.
A Hoburne Development spokesperson ruled out a holiday park scheme there and told the A&T any proposals would include housing.
She said: “As a local company that is passionate about the New Forest and its heritage, we understand the importance of the Lyndhurst Park Hotel.
“It’s a landmark site with historical value and like the local community of Lyndhurst, we are sad to see it has fallen into disrepair.”
The company will now work closely with the national park authority to bring forward a plan that “will work for everyone”, she said.
Lyndhurst district councillor Hilary Brand welcomed the confirmation that Pegasus had finally given up on the run-down site and handed it to a new developer.
She said: “Everybody in the village is fed up with the mess there at the moment. They will be very happy for something to happen.
“I think what the village wants is something in keeping with the Lyndhurst’s red-brick style and with a mixture of family and affordable housing.”
Cllr Brand added: “I think everybody is pleased that it’s been purchased and Pegasus are not involved any more. I do not think they listened when they put the plans through before.
“At previous consultations a lot had been said but they did not take any notice. It sounds like Hoburne will listen more to residents.”
The 60-bed hotel closed in 2014 and has stood empty ever since. It was a bought for a reported £5m by Pegasus which earlier this year promised to bring forward a third new set of plans – but nothing emerged.
The NPA’s newly adopted Local Plan, which sets out planning policies, has earmarked the site for 50 homes plus tourism uses and the retention of the building’s historic elements. Ans affordable housing target of 50% has been set.
The original Glasshayes House dates back to about 1810, with later parts thought to have been designed by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.