Plans lodged to convert Northumberland hotel into apartments
Plans to convert an historic Rothbury hotel into apartments have been lodged.
The Coquetvale Hotel on Station Road has had a chequered recent history, closing in December 2020 when the trading company went into liquidation but reopening under new ownership earlier this year.
The change of use application by James Beaumont-Gowling seeks permission to convert the 14-bedroom hotel into 12 separate residential units.
A planning report submitted on the applicant’s behalf states: ‘Whilst the loss of an existing tourist facility within Rothbury would be regrettable, both the village itself and the surrounding area are well served by a wide range of holiday accommodation.
‘Indeed, whilst the hotel has been well occupied over the summer of 2021 due to the ‘staycation’ boom following the recent Covid-19 pandemic, such levels of occupation have been rare over a number of years and it is envisaged that the recent uptake in hotel guests will return to normally low levels once foreign travel becomes safe again.’
The application also highlights that permission was granted in 2004 for the change of use and conversion of the building to form a single residential dwelling but it was never implemented.
If approved, it is proposed to create a pair of two-bedroom units on the ground floor, three two-bedroom units, a one-bedroom unit and a manager’s flat on the first floor, four two-bedroom units on the second floor and a three-bedroom unit on the third floor.
Access to all 12 units would be taken from the main access to the building on the front elevation.
The only external alterations proposed are the installation of three small windows to the front elevation at ground floor level to allow light to a bedroom.
Off-street car parking would continue to be provided at the front of the building, although a number of concerns have been registered by local residents and the parish council.
The hotel currently has four full-time and eight part-time employees.
The hotel was originally built in the 1870s by Lord William Armstrong, the distinguished North East engineer, philanthropist and scientist, and was initially used as a railway hotel to service guests visiting the nearby Cragside House.