Plans have been filed proposing the construction of luxury lodges in the grounds of a five-star spa hotel in County Durham.
The grade II-listed Seaham Hall has been in use as a hotel and spa since 2002.
The venue has lodged a planning application with Durham County Council to transform a site to the north-east of the hall, which is currently occupied by grassland, a staff car park and two access roads, one of which is redundant.
The plans propose the change of use of the site for holiday accommodation, as well as engineering work to create 20 bases for holiday lodges and the erection of four permanent lodges. The car park would be relocated to a plot of agricultural land to the north-west of the hall.
A heritage statement prepared by Lichfields on behalf of Seaham Hall Property Title Ltd said the venue has invested more than £1m in the region over the years and has the capacity to increase its offering.
"There is a growing trend, nationally and locally, for the development of holiday lodge parks offering luxury lodges for ownership and rental," the statement added.
"This is underpinned by a strong and growing market for holiday lodge ownership, which has been confirmed through information provided by Visit Durham.
"Brexit and the devaluation of sterling have also created opportunities for the UK tourist industry, increasing the UK’s appeal to foreign visitors and supporting continued growth in the popularity of the ‘staycation’ amongst UK residents."
Plans for the new development were initially unveiled by Seaham Hall in November 2017.
Seaham Hall has a long and colourful history and can trace its roots back to the 1790s. It was visited by the likes of Lord Byron before being acquired by the Londonderry family in the 1820s.
During World War I, the property was used as a military hospital and treated more than 3,500 patients. In the 1920s, left uninhabited by the Londonderry family, its cellars were used the store and bottle Spey whisky, which was shipped to the Bahamas bound for prohibition-era New York and Chicago.
Source: Insider Media
Image credit: Andrew Curtis