Plans for a new £6m hotel on the site of The Eden Project have now officially been approved by Cornwall Council.
A proposal was submitted in March for a new 115-bedroom hotel on the site at Bodelva near St Austell in Cornwall and now planning permission has been granted.
The new building, which has been designed to blend into the countryside and have high standards of accessibility, energy-efficiency and sustainability, is expected to be completed in mid-2016.
Eden is currently in discussion with a number of potential partners regarding the management of the hotel and the development will see the creation of around 25 jobs.
Eden executive director David Harland said: “Having permission for a hotel on our site is a big moment for Eden and for the wider economy. We are very grateful for the support the proposal has been given by the council planners and by the community. Now it is full steam ahead.”
The hotel will support Eden’s activities, its educational aspirations, its existing and future conference events, weddings, and the annual Eden Sessions series of concerts.
Eden has monitored its direct economic impact on the region from its beginnings. Research shows that the 17 million people who have visited since it opened in 2001 have spent at least £1.6bn within Cornwall, contributing greatly to the wider economy.
The hotel, Eden says, will be a great asset in sustaining business all year round and unlocking the potential of the wider estate beyond the world-famous Biomes.
The position of the hotel has been chosen to be both accessible to the main Eden site and close to the perimeter of Eden’s outer estate.
There will be no catering in the building. This is deliberate as the plan is to host sleeping accommodation only, allowing guests to access facilities on the main Eden site.
The hotel will be designed on simple lines and be made up of a timber-clad structure, similar in style to Eden’s Foundation Building.
The hotel is designed to support existing projects and partners and also future developments on site, not just for the Eden.
These include the Building Research Establishment’s National Solar Centre and Cornwall Sustainable Building Trust’s Green Build Hub. The hotel will enable them to offer residential courses to support their own training ambitions.