Holiday lodges plans refused over impact on landscape

All Saints Hotel on the outskirts of Bury St Edmunds has submitted plans for a new bedroom wing Pict

All Saints Hotel, pictured in 2018 - Credit: All Saints Hotel

Plans for holiday lodges at a hotel, spa and golf complex have been refused over concerns about how it would change the landscape.

The proposal for 15 holiday caravans at All Saints Hotel Golf and Spa, at Fornham St Genevieve, just outside Bury St Edmunds, went before West Suffolk Council's planning committee today.

The plans by David Harris of M&D Developments, which owns All Saints Hotel, were turned down because of "impact on landscape character".

Beccy Hopfensperger.

Councillor Beccy Hopfensperger - Credit: Simon Lee Photography Suffolk UK

After the meeting, ward councillor Beccy Hopfensperger, who objected to the application, said the residents she was representing were concerned about urbanisation and building on the open green space, as well as reducing the buffer in between settlements.

She added: "One of the concerns was, is this potentially the thin end of the wedge? If 15 are approved, what protection is put in place to prevent further development?"

Planning officers had recommended approval of the application, which had been scaled back from 35 holiday caravans.

As well as the objections, there were 126 third-party representations in support of the plans, the officers' report said.

David Harris, of M&D Developments, at All Saints Hotel Golf and Spa at Fornham St Genevieve

David Harris, of M&D Developments, at All Saints Hotel Golf and Spa at Fornham St Genevieve - Credit: Archant

Mr Harris expressed his disappointment at the committee's decision, after nine voted against and seven for.

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He said: "I don't know what more we could have done. It is disappointing.

"We have tried to work very closely for two years with the planning officer to address the inspector's concerns."

He added: "We will just have to review it."

This application was submitted after one for 35 holiday caravans was refused in 2020 and a subsequent appeal dismissed.

The inspector concluded the proposal would result in unacceptable harm to the character and appearance of the site and the surrounding area.

A view showing the proposed site

A view showing the proposed site - Credit: Guarda Landscape

Mr Harris said there was a need for self-catering accommodation, adding the development would be "good" for the town, as well as his business.

The council's economic development team supported the diversification of the business and said there was demand for new accommodation types.

An application summary said it has been estimated the lodges would result in £1,472,976 of additional spending within the local area and hotel.

The 42-bedroom All Saints Hotel is located on the edge of its 150-acre golf course and has undergone £6million worth of improvements since it was purchased by the current owner in 2015.

Mr Harris said the addition of the holiday lodges would have helped to make the golf course itself financially viable.