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Empress of Blandings pub in Copythorne, New Forest, applies for permission to add 14 new bedrooms

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A NEW Forest pub has applied for planning permission to add 14 guest bedrooms to support its long-term viability.

Hall and Woodhouse Ltd, which runs the Empress of Blandings in Romsey Road, Copythorne, has applied to the national park authority to convert the first and second floors into new rooms.

Currently the areas are used as a function room and staff accommodation. The application also seeks to covert an outbuilding into four staff bedrooms as well as external alterations including a new oak pergola, cold store and two refrigeration units.

If approved, the pub will create 14 guest bedrooms
If approved, the pub will create 14 guest bedrooms

Documents submitted to the NPA stated: "The conversion of the first and second floor to guest rooms and relocation of the team accommodation to the existing garage would allow the business to diversify its services offering, contributing to the tourism industry in the local area and enhance the longer term viability of the business for the future.

"In the current economic climate and given recent international travel restrictions resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is considered more important than ever to support the British hospitality/tourism industry, particularly existing businesses."

The reconfiguration of internal walls will enable a new lift to be accommodated at the entrance, providing access for all guests.

It added: "The project design has been influenced by the already extensively developed site.

"The opportunities for new-build were limited and therefore the scheme has focused on utilising space within the existing buildings and replacing underused function space with new guest letting rooms whilst ensuring adequate staff accommodation is retained on site to serve the businesses need."

The proposals include space to park approximately 14 vehicles.

A decision by the NPA is scheduled after the public consultation period ends on 7th October.

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