Hotel planned for site of former Keswick care home

Date: Tuesday 6th February 2018

PLANS for a new 60-bedroomed hotel in Keswick have been submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority.

Agents representing Stevie-Lee Pattinson, of the Manor Care Home Group, County Durham, have applied for planning permission for the former site of the Ravensfield Residential Home, High Hill.

It is on the A5271, opposite the site of the former pencil museum. The aim is to build a new hotel over two-and-half storeys with associated underground car park, parking and landscaping.

It is hoped the hotel will create 25 full-time and 16 part-time jobs, according to documents submitted to park planners.

The applicants said: “The proposal would provide a new hotel fit for purpose and designed to meet the current standards for this type of building.

“The proposed development consists of 60 bedrooms with associated ancillary support spaces, dining and lounge spaces, plus 45 car parking spaces, including three accessible spaces. There is a planning permission in place for a 50-bedroom care home of exactly the same footprint and style as this proposal.”

It is estimated that the hotel would generate “70 movements” of cars in and out of the site, consisting of 88 per cent. visitors and 12 per cent. staff. The applicants said all staff and visitors would be encouraged to use public transport or pedal cycles.

A 62-page flood risk assessment report has been submitted by a firm of civil and structural engineers to support the application. The report said: “The need to mitigate against flood risk both on the site and elsewhere due to the hotel occupying land defined as Flood Zone 3a has been considered by the developer.

“The hotel footprint has been minimised to mimic the existing building as far as is possible. The reduction in flood plain storage is minimal and it is concluded that the hotel will not measurably increase flood risk.”

The applicants said: “It is considered that the proposal takes full account of its location and would enhance this key entrance route into Keswick relative to the present development and does not affect the setting of other heritage assets. The proposal takes full account of the national park policies and central government planning guidance.”

The residential home was shut by Cumbria County Council after the 2009 floods and declared “not fit for purpose” by the council. A petition against that closure was signed by 3,500 people. Planning permission for a new 50-bed care home was agreed in 2014 and in October, 2016, the old building was demolished.