Draco Pub Co’s Dorchester hotel project stalls amid planning permission hurdle


The transformation of an historic hotel in Dorchester has stalled, while a planning application awaits consideration from the local council.

The plan was to re-open The Kings Arms Hotel in Dorchester in spring, but now planning delays have set the launch date back to late 2017.

The hotel, which has hosted royalty and rock stars, closed down last year and was then acquired by pub company Draco who had intended to refurbish the 280-year-old building.

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A planning application which had been due to be determined by the end of July is still under consideration by West Dorset District Council and work cannot begin on the Grade-II listed building until permission has been granted.

Built in 1720, The Kings Arms, is said to have hosted guests including Queen Victoria and King George IV, as well as celebrities such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

Speaking to BBC News, Draco director James Brooke-Webb said his firm was “pretty frustrated” and “at a loss to understand” the delay.

“We are keen to press ahead with the project as soon as we can and we think this is an important project for the local economy,” he said.

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Zoe Monk

The author Zoe Monk

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