£1m development could boost jobs and tourism

Petwood Hotel Housing Plans
Petwood Hotel Housing Plans

Planners at ELDC have been urged to back a housing scheme amid claims it will lead to new jobs and development of a major tourist attraction.

That is the message from the district council’s deputy leader Craig Leyland who is supporting proposals for eight new homes at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa.

The award-winning hotel aims to utilise profits to fund a £1m-plus re-development of their gardens, which were originally laid out by celebrated Edwardian designer Harold Peto.

Coun Leyland, who represents Woodhall Spa, says the gardens could attract thousands of visitors, safeguarding the future of the hotel, creating new jobs and generating a much needed boost for the local economy.

He was speaking ahead of a meeting today (Thursday) in Skegness when ELDC’s planning committee will debate the application.

Coun Leyland told the News: “I am confident it will have enormous benefits for Woodhall Spa - and for the area as a whole.

“It would safeguard existing jobs, generate new opportunities and re-affirm Woodhall Spa’s position as a major tourist destination for the next 40 or 50 years.”

ELDC’s planning officer Andy Allen is recommending approval of the scheme - with various conditions attached.

However, it is the council’s planning committee that will have the final say and Coun Leyland - who heads ELDC’s planning portfolio - is not a member.

Backers of the project were stunned last March when the committee rejected an initial application.

Hotel owners have submitted a revised bid which involves felling fewer trees. They also say the re-design of the houses is more in keeping with the character of the hotel - and Woodhall Spa in general.

Woodhall Spa Parish Council is supporting the application after raising doubts about the 2013 bid.

They say the new site is much improved as it involves utilising land within an existing walled garden.

The parish council also says the homes would attract young families and stresses the importance of redeveloping Pato’s once-famous gardens, which attracted royalty in the early 1900s.

There are three objections from neighbouring properties who say they are concerned about the woodland development and an increase in traffic on Monument Road.

They say planning permission would create a ’dangerous precedent’ and point out there are other more suitable sites in Woodhall Spa available for new homes.

One letter of objection describes the possible garden redevelopment as ‘irrelevant’ and says the hotel owners should pursue other means of financing the project.

Hotel director Emma Brealey has previous described the renovation as ‘vitally important’ and a ‘long held dream.