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Third time lucky? Fresh plans being drawn up for Lyndhurst Park Hotel

Pegasus Life wants to redevelop Lyndhurst Park Hotel with retirement flats
Pegasus Life wants to redevelop Lyndhurst Park Hotel with retirement flats

NEW proposals for the derelict Lyndhurst Park Hotel could be unveiled by the summer, according to the developer.

Pegasus Life is working on fresh designs for the landmark site after last month it suddenly dropped an appeal for about 90 homes with just weeks to go before the hearing.

As reported in the A&T, the application for 75 retirement flats and 15 affordable homes was refused in December 2017 by the national park authority.

It was the second scheme to be thrown out after the NPA also blocked the first set of plans in February 2017 for 74 retirement flats and 12 holiday homes.

A company spokesperson said: “Pegasus Life has taken the decision to withdraw the appeal on the former Lyndhurst Park Hotel site. After much consultation, we are yet to agree a consensus with the key stakeholders.

“As a business, we would rather continue to engage with those key stakeholders than press on with the appeal.

“It means, at this stage, that it would be better to withdraw the appeal until those negotiations have been concluded.

“We know there is a growing need for over-60s housing in Lyndhurst and the New Forest.

“Therefore, we plan to work with the interested parties in the new year to draw up a scheme that can be supported by them and the wider community. We intend to submit a new scheme in the first part of 2019.”

No explanation was given when Pegasus abandoned its appeal. The NPA said it intended to seek costs for the wasted effort preparing for the challenge, due to have been held on 29th January at the Forest Lodge Hotel in Lyndhurst.

Lyndhurst councillor Pat Wyeth, who is also a member of the NPA, called for a new hotel and affordable housing. She attacked Pegasus as “disgraceful” for dropping its challenge so late in the day.

She suspected the move was in response to new development policies in the NPA’s draft Local Plan set to be adopted later this year. It has allocated the site for a mix of tourism and 50 homes, as well as retaining historic elements of the existing building.

Cllr Wyeth said: “Personally, I would like to see some sort of 50-bed budget hotel. I would not mind if it was a budget hotel providing the design was absolutely A1, because it’s right at the entrance to the village.

“Budget hotels do not normally have a restaurant so people staying would use the restaurants in Lyndhurst, of which we have many.”

She added: “I know we are in an area where there are elderly people, but we have a few retirement places already and [Pegasus’s plan] would do nothing to help the groups of Scouts and Brownies who need leaders. They mainly come from the younger people, and we need to bring more energy into the village.”

The 60-bed Lyndhurst Park Hotel shut down in 2014 before being sold to Pegasus for a reported £5m.

More than 800 objections to the plans were lodged by villagers who are keen to preserve the structure, parts of which are thought to have been designed by Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The original Glasshayes House dates back to about 1810.

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