Bid to convert derelict north Cumbrian hotel rejected

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Tarn End House Hotel on Talkin Tarn.
Tarn End House Hotel on Talkin Tarn.

PLANS to convert a derelict hotel at a north Cumbrian beauty spot into new homes have been dashed.

The national planning inspectorate has dismissed an appeal against refusal of planning permission to develop the Tarn End House Hotel on the shores of Talkin Tarn.

Citadel Estates wanted to create 18 homes on the site. Proposals – which were refused in March 2016 – sought permission to convert the existing building into six two bedroom apartments and to re-configure the redundant outbuildings to form a dozen more, including four new-builds.

In a last ditch bid the developer lodged an appeal with the planning

inspectorate in November.

But the inspector, Elaine Gray, said the main issues were the effect of the proposal on the significance of the existing building and the character and appearance of the area, and whether the proposal would contribute to a sustainable pattern of development.

In the appeal decision report she concluded: “Whilst I have identified a number of moderate benefits which would accrue from the scheme, these would not outweigh the loss of significance of the non-designated heritage asset, or the harm to the character and appearance of the area.

“Furthermore, the development would not contribute to a sustainable pattern of development, and so would fail to meet the local and national policy objectives of promoting sustainability.

“For those reasons, and taking all other matters into consideration, I conclude the appeal should be dismissed.”

Commenting on the appeal decision Nick Elgey, commercial director of Citadel Estates, said: “We are disappointed by the inspector’s decision as we have tried our best to strike a balance between a scheme that respects the building and is commercially viable. We are now considering our options."

The building, which was once a working farm with origins in the early 19th century, has stood empty since it stopped trading in 2004.

Dean Montgomery from Citadel Estates bought the building from Cumbria County Council for £450,000 in 2009.

His firm wanted to convert the hotel building and rebuild 90 per cent of its outbuildings the new apartments.

Carlisle City Council’s development control committee threw out the application on the recommendation of the officer dealing with the case.

While it was agreed something needed to be done to save the building, the officer’s report stated that the “potential conservation benefits brought by the proposed development would be outweighed by the harm to the existing heritage values of the property, the unsustainability of the site and lack of affordable housing.”

Mr Elgey had said he was “astonished” that it didn’t get planning approval.

He said it is not a listed building and was no different to a redundant farm.

He said the firm had no choice to appeal the planning department’s decision after the application was supported by the public, ward councillors and consultees.

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Will   M , Carlisle Tuesday, 17 January, 2017 at 11:11AM
Good to see the inspector is upholding the decision of the council. We have a severe lack of affordable homes in this country and nothing will change unless councils interfere in the will of developers who just want to build high-end apartments and executive homes everywhere, all a development like this would do is bring a clutch of city workers to Talkin looking for a country retreat, doing nothing to address local demand or boost the local economy, and turning a historic hotel grounds into a mini-housing estate. While the building is in need of a use to preserve it it's good that the council didn't panic into greenlighting the first use that was suggested.
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Pat   Stephenson , Cumbria Friday, 06 January, 2017 at 6:48PM
It's quite sad that the inspector has refused permission to develope, and preserve this site ... Already this property has stood empty for 13 years. Far too long for such a beautiful building. .I remember in the 1980/90s when we used to walk around the Tarn and the hotel was in use it always looked so welcoming .. An attractive place to stay even. I hope Citadel re submit some more plans on a smaller scale without the new builds . Just convert the existing buildings even !! GOOD LUCK
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James   Briggs , Cockermouth Friday, 06 January, 2017 at 1:23PM
I never quite understood why on earth Carlisle City Council didn't have the foresight to exploit the revenue potential of such a building. Before it became a dilapidated eyesore beyond repair, someone with a little determination and a bit of imagination could have made a great business out of this former hotel. A no brainer in my opinion considering the excellent location.
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Bradley   Kieser , Roweltown Friday, 06 January, 2017 at 12:45PM
Can you imagine the impact of 18 low cost housing on the tarn and all who visit it? It would have destroyed a much loved, extremely well used and beautiful place. This was not the place to try put up such a development and it's the right decision by the planners in refusing it. The developer being "astounded" by this shows how out of touch he is. We have a beautiful county with outstanding natural beauty that must be protected, especially in highly visible, photographed, visited and used places. Quite astonishing that the developer is "astonished" by this.
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Tom   Armstrong , wigton Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 9:20PM
These planners would rather it be derelict and falling down, short sighted.
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John   Wood , Carlisle Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 8:51PM
Absolutely bonkers
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  , Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 5:20PM
What a ridiculous decision. It's an eye sore. Anything is better than it's current state.
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Steve   , Carlisle Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 4:25PM
This decision is a disgrace. How can anyone state that there would be a "loss of significance of the non-designated heritage asset"? The place is falling down and is an eyesore. Allowing people to live there would surely be better than allowing the building to collapse? The council and planning inspector should be ashamed of themselves!
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kevin   stuart , Carlisle Thursday, 05 January, 2017 at 2:07PM
Well just let it decay further and fall into ruins. How short sighted of the City Council.
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