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Grasmere hotel wins right to extend despite protests
A LAKE District hotel has been given permission to double in size despite villagers’ protests.
Forty more bedrooms will be added to The Swan Hotel, Grasmere, as part of multi-million pound revamp.
However, the authority rejected plans for a staff hostel in the village.
Bev Dennison, chairman of Grasmere Village Society, said residents would be disappointed that the Lake District National Park Authority had allowed ‘big bedroom blocks’ to be built.
She said: “The plans we’ve seen resemble a coach stop.
“We worry the hotel is going to look like a large chain firm, rather than a high quality addition to the tourism industry.”
Villagers Barbara and Bill Bate said the LDNPA’s unanimous rejection of plans to convert a Grasmere house into accommodation for 13 hotel workers had ‘saved them from a miserable retirement’.
Mrs Bate, 63, said she had endured sleepless nights worrying about the future for the connected Dunmail Cottage, on Keswick Road, where she has always lived.
“We would have to move if the property was used for even more staff. The noise and comings and goings would be intolerable.” LDNPA member Michael McKinley said the two-storey extension would have been “over-bearing and create an unacceptable level of noise disturbance for neighbours”.
Applicant John Starky said plans would allow for 40 more bedrooms at the three-star hotel owned by national chain MacDonald Hotels, taking the total to 78.
“By further refurbishment, landscaping, and extensions to the dining room we hope to lift the venue to a four star standard,” he added.
Outbuildings, staff rooms and storage blocks are set to be demolished.