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Much-loved Henley guest house to close
Published 22/02/14

AN award-winning bed and breakfast business in Henley is set to close.

Falaise House in Market Place has been run by Richard and Jane Morgan since 2007.

The couple, who live in Greys Road, have won numerous awards for their service and the business has regularly featured in the Michelin Guide.

Now they are selling up because Mrs Morgan wants to retire due to ill-health. The buyer is Paul Conroy and his wife, from Wallingford, who have submitted a planning application for a change of use to residential.

Mr Morgan said: “We went to market just before Christmas as a beautiful Henley residence.

“We got quite a few responses and even had a few celebrities across the door — people who want to live here permanently.

“I do not know what the Conroys are planning to do but I know they want to freshen it up. I am absolutely delighted that they are enthused by the property as this really does need to be loved and cherished. They will give it a fresh spark.

“My main concern when I put the house on the market was not finding someone who would love the property and instead get one of those awful chains taking it over as a cash cow.

“I am absolutely delighted that the Conroys seem to love it as much as we do and it will remain a residency that the town can be proud of.”

Mr Morgan has paid tribute to his wife, saying: “The whole concept of an award-winning guest house is down to Jane.

“She cares about the business but she doesn’t need to be getting up at 5.30am any more. We have thoroughly enjoyed it and are very proud to have been part of the community.”

A design and access statement supporting the application made to South Oxfordshire District Council says: “The house is an existing listed building built for residential use and used as such until 2003.

“The Disability Discrimination Act requirements for a bed and breakfast facility with access to the public are more onerous than access requirements for a single residential house.

“Constraints on the building by its listed status will prevent any realistic changes to increase access. Five-sixths of the accommodation is upper level accessed by a sole staircase with turns.”

Henley Town Council’s planning committee will consider the application at its next meeting on Tuesday and the district council will make a final decision by March 28.

The Conroys were not available for comment but planning consultant Richard Cutler said: “The proposal is to turn it into a house rather than a guest house as my clients wish to live there.”

Falaise House is still taking bookings.

Published 22/02/14

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