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Friday, 01 August 2014

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New spa complex near Carlisle set for planning approval

A spa facility at Rickerby, near Carlisle, looks set to get the go ahead.

Rickerby Retreat will have a swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, gym and two treatment rooms with a cafe/restaurant upstairs.

It is the idea of Rachel Salmon, 32, a former pupil of Carlisle’s Trinity School, and her partner Daniel Ferguson who are moving from Manchester to run the venture.

They have applied for planning permission to convert Rickerby Cottage.

Carlisle City Council has received 15 objections – including one from the Friends of Rickerby Park – and 13 letters and emails supporting the proposal.

Objectors say the spa would bring more traffic and have an “adverse impact” on the Rickerby conservation area.

Supporters say it would boost the tourist economy and provide a useful amenity for local people.

Planning officers are advising councillors to grant planning permission on Friday.

Their report says: “The proposals are acceptable in principle.

“The scale and design would be acceptable and they would not have and adverse impact on the Rickerby Conservation Area or the living conditions of occupiers of neighbouring properties.”

Councillors are likely to impose conditions limiting the cafe/restaurant to 48 diners and restricting its trading hours to 10am-10pm. The leisure facilities will be limited to 6.30am to 9pm.

The house already has a swimming pool for the owners’ use.

Turning it into a business would create a dozen jobs, six full time.

There would also be wooden camping pods to provide accommodation for walkers.

Miss Salmon, who is giving up a job as an English and humanities teacher to return to her home city, said: “Daniel and I fell in love with the former Rickerby Cottage and immediately saw its potential.

“We have been dreaming of running our own business for some time.”

The restaurant will run as a cafe and burger bar during the day but as a high-end restaurant in the evenings.

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