Northampton hotel owners appeal after council rules 'eyesore' extension to be taken down

The Westone Manor Hotel extension has been refused retrospective planning permission by Northampton Borough Council.
The Westone Manor Hotel extension has been refused retrospective planning permission by Northampton Borough Council.

Owners of a Northampton hotel whose 18-room extension was labelled an "industrial eyesore" by residents could be ordered to rip the metallic structure down if they lose their appeal.

Last year the proprietors of Westone Manor Hotel in Fir Tree Walk were given permission to extend the north wing of the former stately home by another floor.

But in March, Northampton Borough Council ruled that the finished structure was taken down after it appeared two floors were added.

The authority said the extension they eventually built was "out of scale and character with the existing hotel buildings" and bore little resemblance to the original plans.

The extension saw 112 people sign a local petition in a matter of days, while 15 nearby residents wrote letters to the council to complain.

Last week, the owners of the hotel once considered one of the town's best venues, launched an appeal against the decision.

Papers lodged with the borough council claim the owner, Harry Sookun, has injected over £1million in the premises since 2013 "to create an exclusive ambiance (sic) for guests".

This has included closing the old access point from Ashley Way, creating a new hotel foyer, joining the main building to the annexe and a renovation to both the interior and exterior of the building.

"Since these works, complaints from the local community regarding disturbances from the hotel have reduced substantially," the appeal states.

It also argues the extension to the north wing cannot be classed as an eyesore as it is screened by a row of large fir trees.

It does concede that the eventual extension differed from the originally approved plans by having a mono-pitched roof instead of a flat roof.

This, the appeal states, gives the building the impression of having an extra floor with small windows.

The original Westone Manor hotel was built in 1914 and has had several additions from 1954 onwards.

However, it suffered from decreasing revenues over the years.

The hotel suffered from a lack of investment from the 1960s onwards and, at one point, only 40 of 71 rooms were fit for guests.