One of Harrogate’s landmark hotels could be set to close down and be converted into 14 apartments following a planning application submitted to the council.
The Balmoral Hotel, a 23-bedroom accommodation on Franklin Mount near the International Centre, could be converted into nine one-bedroom apartments and five two-bedroom apartments.
The hotel, which is rated four-star by the AA, is situated in a building that was originally three townhouses dating back to 1841.
The property was converted into a luxury hotel in the 1970s by a former chef to the royal family and has operated as a hotel and restaurant for over 30 years.
In the plans, prepared by Directions Planning Consultancy on behalf of Mr M Ward, the company stressed that the loss of the hotel will not undermine the ‘healthy supply of hotel rooms’ in the town.
The report said: “It is worth noting that the Harrogate Visitor Accommodation Study (2015) found that 878 rooms had been created and 237 lost between 2004 and 2015.
“The situation has improved because the supply has been bolstered by the erection of a number of new hotels.
The report goes on to stress that the layout of the building is already suitable for residential occupation as the hotel was originally built as three residential properties occupied by families.
“Conversion of large Victorian houses to flats and apartments is common across Harrogate town, due to the scale of the dwellings and the ability to subdivide the floors of the buildings into individual units,” the report goes on to explain.
“Many of the proposed apartments have separate kitchen and living spaces, and also en-suite bathrooms to the master bedrooms.”
The report also stated the development would have a positive impact on neighbours as there would be fewer bedrooms and fewer occupants.
The report said: “The residential use will also see a reduction in the amount of activity associated with the building as there will no longer be patrons of the restaurant or staff visiting The Balmoral, particularly late at night.”
In 2013, the hotel was acquired by a team led by former Hotel Du Vin hotelier Nick Lawson and backed with significant private investment.
Mr Lawson is an experienced hotel executive with over a dozen years’ experience with Malmaison and Radisson Edwardian Hotels.