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Eyesore Lyndhurst Park Hotel site gets green light for redevelopment by Hoburne Developments

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A MAJOR scheme to redevelop the site of the derelict Lyndhurst Park Hotel has secured planning permission for 79 new homes.

The application, by Burry & Knight, an arm of local company Hoburne Developments, was unanimously backed by members of the national park authority’s planning committee during a meeting at Lymington Community Centre on Tuesday morning.

A section of the hotel, which has lain empty since it closed in 2014, is set to be remodelled as part of the plan, which also includes the creation of three commercial units, extensive landscaping and 115 car parking spaces.

Lyndhurst Park Hotel closed in 2014
Lyndhurst Park Hotel closed in 2014

The 1.6ha "eyesore" site has been subject to two failed development bids by former owner Pegasus Life for 90 flats and then 86 flats.

After objecting to both previous schemes, Lyndhurst Parish Council came forward in support of the latest bid, applauding the re-use of the brownfield site which it says will reduce pressure to look for other development sites in the village.

Cllr Graham Reeves, chair of Lyndhurst Parish Council’s planning committee, told the meeting that many of the 65 letters of objection to the latest plans were “cloned letters” from historical societies and other interested groups. He added: “The previous refused application for this site generated a massive 818 responses, of which 810 were objections – therefore the limited negative response to the current application may be construed as demonstrating general acceptance.”

Speaking in support, planning agent Giles Moir said the applicant was fully aware of the importance of the site, its history and its prominent location at the gateway to Lyndhurst.

He said apartments had been designed in an Arts-and-Crafts style to echo buildings in the High Street, continuing: “The proposals design approach includes a number of references and strong synergies to a number of local buildings such as Hartwood House and the verderers' building.”

An artist's impression of the Lyndhurst Park Hotel scheme
An artist's impression of the Lyndhurst Park Hotel scheme

But opponent Richard Tarrant, a resident of nearby Rufus Court, urged the planning committee to consider wildlife. He said: “At the moment, within the grounds of the hotel there are some lovely trees and a great deal of wildlife including badgers, muntjac deer, foxes and many species of bird giving great joy to residents.”

Launching the NPA members' debate, Richard Taylor said: “I am fairly convinced by the application and the way that it addresses a difficult site and comes up with a good solution for it.”

George Bisson said the hotel site had "been dying for 20 years” due to a "terrific lack of investment". He added: “There have been attempts to list this several times, and all those have failed.

“It has been an eyesore and a blight to the village for a number of years. We are not going to get everything perfect but I believe this application has made exceptional efforts to engage the local community and make alterations accordingly.”

David Harrison described the design as "terrific", adding: “This the probably the best opportunity we will ever see to develop this site in a sympathetic way.”

Gavin Parker said he was disappointed that the application included only eight one-bedroom affordable properties, but described the design as “very good".

Stephen Tarling was more critical, saying: “My heart sank that against our policy of about 50 dwellings this proposes 79 units, and against our target of 50% affordable housing this proposes only 10%.”

After a lengthy debate, NPA members voted unanimously to support this scheme.

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