The owners of a B&B on the outskirts of Canterbury have started plans to transform their establishment into an 18-bedroom boutique hotel.
Stuart Andrews and Georgiana Vasile, who run Oakside Lodge in Upper Harbledown, have submitted a proposal for a ‘modest expansion’ of the site, which will see extra rooms and a bar and dining area created.
The couple opened the converted barn as a four-bed B&B in 2013 and now hope the new development will encourage more people to visit the area.
They had also originally planned to build several separate log cabins on site, but city planning officers advised that expanding the existing facilities would be more likely to be approve.
Speaking to Kent Online, Andrews said: “The B&B was a totally new venture for us but has been a great success. Our guests really appreciate the tranquillity and beauty of the setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
“We accept the new building is in an area of high landscape value but hope the design will mitigate any impact it might have, and there is planning policy which supports tourism in the countryside.
“The proposed, modest expansion of the facilities to an 18-room boutique hotel is both economically and environmentally sustainable, and would be welcome by both tourists and locals because there is a shortage of this kind of accommodation for people who don’t want to stay in somewhere like a Premier Inn or Travelodge.
“The scheme will blend bespoke design, sustainable construction, and a sensitive view from the property over the Weald landscaping to enhance its position.
“We can only hope that it will be considered OK.”