Civic leaders 'surprised' by decision to reject Chesterfield venue's spa and sauna plans

Civic leaders say a council decision to throw out spa plans in the grounds of a Chesterfield listed building is ‘surprising’.

Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:44 pm

Ringwood Hall in Brimington has announced it is to resubmit a planning application with Chesterfield Borough Council to expand its current Garden Secret Spa.

The council refused the application earlier this year, stating that more information – including a Heritage Assessment, a Coal Mining Risk Assessment and a Preliminary Bat Roost Assessment – was needed.

Chesterfield and District Civic Society had backed the plans and described the authority’s decision as ‘odd’.

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Ringwood Hall's current Garden Secret Spa. Chesterfield Bororugh Council has refused plans for an extension.

According to the application, the extension would be located on disused land on the south western boundary of the Grade II-listed property, and it would include treatment rooms, a sauna, a fire pit and two outdoor pools.

Society chariman Philip Riden said: “We find this decision surprising. The kitchen garden is not itself listed and the application was therefore for planning permission, not listed building consent.

“One of the council’s conservation officers, in a report on the application, has treated it as a listed building application, since it relates to a structure within the curtilage of a listed building. This seems to us an odd approach.

"There is in fact some doubt as to whether one wall of the kitchen garden is listed or not.

“The report refers to the glass houses within the walls of the kitchen garden and suggests that they are of historic interest.

“In our own submission, made following a visit by three civic society members, we pointed out that not only do they look obviously recent, but they bear no relation to the layout shown on the 1918 large-scale Ordnance Survey map."

Mr Riden said a heritage assessment should not be needed for a planning application ‘to alter an unlisted building of no special interest’.

“We strongly supported a scheme to bring back into beneficial use a derelict and unsightly part of what is otherwise a very attractive estate and a popular hotel.

"There were no objections to the scheme from either other consultees or members of the public.”

The civic society says it hopes permission will be granted when plans are re-submitted.