New plans proposed to redevelop Studland hotel

The owners of the Knoll House Hotel in Studland are poised to put in a new planning application to totally rebuild the site, after a previous application was turned down.

As part of the pre-planning consultations, local residents got the chance to see for the first time the new, more environmentally friendly concept at an exhibition at the hotel on Wednesday 12th October 2022.

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Exhibition of new plans at Knoll House Hotel consultation
Exhibition of new plans at Knoll House Hotel consultation

The exhibition at the hotel was a chance for local residents to see the new plans before they were finalised and submitted to Dorset Council’s planning department

Much-loved 1930s hotel

After a scheme to rebuild the much-loved 1930s hotel was turned down by Dorset Council in February 2022, it was back to the drawing board for the hotel group Kingfisher Resorts that bought the hotel in 2017.

The team has now come up with a radical new masterplan after listening to the concerns and criticism of the previous planning application.

The main reasons why the last plan was rejected by councillors was due to the mass and scale of the buildings, the urban design and the potential negative impact on the nearby heathland .

Exhibition of new plans at Knoll House Hotel consultation
Exhibition of new plans at Knoll House Hotel consultation with hotem manager Dom

Knoll House Hotel’s general manager Donovan Van Staden with the 3D model of the new more sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings

Green roofs and solar panels

Now the architects have gone for an entirely different concept using curves and green roofs to fit better with the surrounding environment in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

There’s also solar panels and more planting, with most of the car parking hidden partly underground.

It’s still planned for the hotel to have 30 rooms but the number of holiday units consisting of villas and apartments has been reduced from 63 to 48 compared to the earlier proposal.

View of the sea from Knoll House Hotel
Knoll House

The hotel is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with views of the sea and Old Harry Rocks

State of the art spa

One of the key design concepts is to have a state of the art spa with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool that guests can swim between. This facility is now planned to be located to the south of the site to make the most of the view, while blending more into the landscape.

The hotel group intends for the £60 million planned investment to secure the long term future of the hotel and provide an estimated 200 jobs.

While enjoying fabulous sea views, the hotel, whose most famous guest was the author Enid Blyton, is currently in urgent need of major improvement work.

Exhibition of new plans at Knoll House Hotel consultation with Nigel Chapman

Nigel Chapman of Kingfisher Resorts with the new plans

“More sustainable features while also reducing our overall scale of development”

Nigel Chapman of Kingfisher Resorts said:

“We have taken on all the board comments previously raised by our local community and key stakeholders, and carefully revised our plans, coming up with a fresh approach which we consider addresses every concern.

“We are committed to making Knoll House Hotel a thriving asset to be proud of in our local community. Our proposals for its revival are essential to ensure it can continue contributing positively to the local area and economy in the long term.

“We recognise the importance of staying true to our local heritage and surroundings, so our new application follows a landscape-led strategy that complements the area’s unique character.

“Extensive work has been carried out by our design team to identify how we can protect and enhance our local environment.

“Our new application incorporates more sustainable features while also reducing our overall scale of development, so we can be sympathetic to and work in harmony with our natural surroundings.”

Following the consultations, the plans will be finalised with the intention of putting in a new planning application to Dorset Council, possibly by the end of October 2022.

Once submitted, the full details will be available to view on the Dorset Council planning portal.

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