Plans to create a boutique hotel in Wood Stanway in the Cotswolds have been given the go ahead, despite claims from locals that it could ruin the idyllic country village.
Dozens of people had objected to the application from Pickering Real Estate to convert Whitfield House, a grade-II listed former vicarage, into a small hotel. They argued that the business would bring more traffic to the area and destroy one of the few unspoilt villages in Gloucestershire.
Local council, Tewkesbury Borough, had received 26 letters of objection on top of a petition which was signed by 42 people.
Despite the complaints, the council’s planning committee granted permission for the development to begin, which will see four new bedrooms added to create an 11-bedroom hotel.
The hamlet is near Winchombe and local members Ron Allen and Jim Mason did their best to get the plans thrown out. The Conservative councillors both spoke against the application.
He pleaded with members to refuse the plans, claiming that allowing the development would be the worst thing it would ever do.
Borough mayor Mike Dean agreed.
But the majority of other members did not and backed their officers’ view that the business could be run without spoiling the village.
Councillor Audrey Ricks felt it might be the only way to preserve the “lovely old house” and councillor Allen Keyte said: “It’s not a theme park or a hotel the size of Toddington Manor.
“It’s a boutique hotel with limited facilities.”