Plans to turn Grade II listed pub into hotel submitted

The Red Lion at East Bergholt

The Red Lion at East Bergholt - Credit: GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Plans to turn the Grade II listed Red Lion Pub, in East Bergholt, into a hotel have been submitted to planners.

The plans relate to a change of use from a public house to hotel, with some minor alterations but with "no loss of historic elements or features".

Currently, the ground floor of the pub is used as a restaurant, set up for table service, with 65% of the business revenue coming from food, which the plans say means the building can't be considered solely a public house.

In a planning and access statement submitted to Babergh District Council, Quinlan Terry Architects, on behalf of the applicants, said: "There is currently permission for two 28-day holiday lets at first and second floor, which include self-catering kitchens.

"Having researched the holiday market, the owners would like to change the use of the rooms to bed and breakfast accommodation and encourage the guests to use the ground floor restaurant facilities rather than self-cater. This will mean that further staff will be required to allow the building to open the full seven days a week."

The Red Lion currently has nine full-time and 16 part-time staff.

The planning documents add: "The diverse use of the building is important for the future growth and stability of the business and local employment and to service the trend towards ‘staycations’ as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, there being no other similar facilities in the village and East Bergholt being a tourist destination with over 200,000 tourist visitors annually.

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"The position of the resources within the Dedham Vale and the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty will provide an important asset as a tourist attraction and provide much needed accommodation for visitors."

The pub dates back to the 1770s and would have been known by John Constable when he lived and painted in the village.

It was recently closed for two-and-a-half years for a major restoration project. The complete overhaul included a brand new kitchen, bathrooms, the rooms upstairs for people to stay in, and a new restaurant.