First look at plans to revamp popular coastal inn

Plans for the Dolphin at Thorpeness

An artist's impression of what the Dolphin Inn could look like once work is done - Credit: Curry-Hyde LLP

This is what a popular coastal inn could look like after a planned major revamp.

The Dolphin Inn at Thorpeness houses a renowned restaurant and bar, as well as the Village Store.

Proposals submitted by planners would see a number of changes made, with the shop moved across Peace Court and a new extension for the main restaurant and bar in Old Homes Road.

It is also envisaged that the shop will form a new guest reception area for the whole building.

Planners say moving the store will help it to run more efficiently in the winter months and will provide a more "visible" entrance for guests. 

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Much of the work would involve changes to existing buildings at the site to provide for more accommodation for guests.

There are no changes to the restaurant or bar. 

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Outbuildings at the back of the inn would be replaced by three new hotel rooms, with five new rooms would be going into the Peace Court building and six new rooms replacing an old barn over two levels. 

Other outbuildings, no longer used by the business, are proposed to be demolished - with the car park set to be reorganised. 

The application statement, submitted by East Coast Planning, says all the work will match the style of the Oglivie buildings put up by the family who transformed the area at the start of the 20th century. 

It also stated that the application "will expand the tourism offer of the district" and "provide a welcome boost to the tourism and hospitality industry which is in need of much support in the wake of the current pandemic". 

David James, who runs the Dolphin Inn, said that the plans had been in the works for a while. 

"We have been working on it for a couple of years," said Mr James. 

"I am quite excited about it.

"It's going to be very good for the community and the village.

"It's been an extreme year.

"This is going to make up for the lost time, this is going to help us."

A final decision on the plans will be made by East Suffolk Council in due course. 

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