THE Chinese owners of Old Thorns Country Hotel celebrated the opening of its 51 luxury apartments, overlooking the golf course.

East Hampshire District Council planners gave the go-ahead for the self-catering holiday flats to be built, back in 2010 – but it took eight more years before they were completed.

In a lavish ribbon cutting ceremony, featuring Chinese lion dancers, the new accommodation was declared open by Mr Yew-Kiat Phang, director of the UCF Group and Mrs Xiaomin Zhang, the owner of Old Thorns.

The holiday apartments were initially at the centre of a row to between the hotel management and nearby residents who objected to the size of the buildings. The self-catering apartments feature 14 penthouse suites and 37 two-bedroom apartments, which benefit from floor to ceiling windows with views across the golf course and South Downs,

They have their own parking spaces within a gated area. The hotel complex at Griggs Green represents the first major investment by the Beijing in the UK in 2014, and has since established its branches in 13 countries.