Friday, 24 May 2019

Mansion hotel plan

A DERELICT mansion overlooking Goring could become a luxury hotel.

Developer SUSD Goring wants planning permission to convert The Grotto, also known as ILAM House, on the opposite riverbank near Lower Basildon.

It has been vacant and overgrown for more than a decade and is a landmark on the Thames path between Gatehampton and Hartslock Wood, near Whitchurch.

The company wants to refurbish and extend the building as a “boutique” hotel with 53 bedrooms and a members’ club with a boathouse, spa and outdoor swimming pool plus six guest lodges and two four-bedroom houses.

The venture would have links to the Devonshire Club in the City of London, which the applicant says will attract wealthy customers.

Goring Parish Council welcomed the principle of restoring the building but expressed concern that the proposed design was “uncoordinated and incoherent”.

West Berkshire Council will decide the application.

The 18th-century property was built by Viscount Fane and served as the Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management’s headquarters between the late Fifties and 2008 when it was bought by the current owner Dr James Hill, from London, who had planned to make it his home.

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