Revised bid to expand hotel lodged after environmental concerns

The Links Hotel in West Runton has submitted a bid to build nine lodges in its grounds. PHOTO: ANTON

The Links Hotel in West Runton. - Credit: ANTONY KELLY

Fresh plans for holiday lodges on the site of a north Norfolk golf course have been drawn up after concerns over their impact on the environment.

The Links Hotel in West Runton, which is part of the Mackenzie Hotel Group, has lodged an amended proposal to put eight two-bedroom lodges off Station Close.

The lodges would go on a strip of land wedged between the Cromer-Sheringham railway line and the No.4 fairway of the Links' golf course. 

Mackenzie Hotels has been wanting to add lodges to the Links for several years.

A bid for six such buildings was turned down by North Norfolk District Council in 2017 for reasons including "significant detrimental impact on the special qualities of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)".

How the lodges, The Links Hotel in West Runton hopes to build, will look.

How the lodges, The Links Hotel in West Runton hopes to build, will look. - Credit: Chaplin Farrant

The group then worked with the council on a another application last year - which would have seen nine lodges built along the railway line and included some one-bedroom units.

But the new plans show that one of the units has been removed and the remaining ones would occupy a smaller part of the strip. 

A letter submitted with the revised application says: "This change has ensured that all of the lodges are now set against a backdrop of the railway embankment and the houses to the north. The lodges are also positioned on the extreme northern boundary of the AONB. 

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"A location closer to the main hotel would be more visually prominent due to the elevated nature of this part of the site and the limited screening which is afforded between this site and the elevated land to the east." 

The letter said the lodges were required for two reasons.

One reason is to offset the cost of maintaining the golf course, which had become more difficult due to declining membership and usage by hotel guests.

The other reason is the need to "compete with Airbnb and self-catering holiday accommodation", due to changing holiday trends. 

NNDC has received scores of letters from both supporters and objectors of the plans, although they were all received before the fresh application was lodged. 

The Mackenzie group - which also runs The Dales Country House Hotel in Sheringham and the Sea Marge in Overstrand - has been contacted for comment.