THE BENCHMARK has been set as plans to breathe new life into a disused hotel near Bordon have been submitted.

Headley Park Hotel has been a sad sight for the past decade. Previously the scene of many weddings, the once-grand building is sitting empty, near derelict and awaiting redevelopment.

But now there’s room for optimism, as a planning application to build a 73-bedroom hotel on the site off Picketts Hill has been submitted to East Hampshire District Council.

The plans include demolishing and replacing the main building with a contemporary-looking hotel. Fourteen luxury holiday lodges with a pondside setting are also proposed along with cottages, a walled kitchen garden and a barn housing a restaurant.

And there’s more to entice travellers with a spa, wellness centre, outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts also part of the plans.

The site was snapped up by Benchmark Resources Ltd in 2018 having closed to the public in 2015.

A similar application by the previous owners to build a new hotel on the site was conditionally approved by East Hampshire District Council the year before, but Benchmark went back to the drawing board to up the scheme’s environmental and energy credentials.

An L-shaped three-storey building is at the heart of the plans, with the new owners even utilising “feng shui” principles in the alignment of some of the buildings onsite.

The application has been well-received judging by feedback on the EHDC planning page, with Benchmark confident the “enhanced scheme” will greatly benefit the area.

“We believe this scheme will make a positive contribution to the local area,” state the applicants in their Design & Access Statement.

“It will offer high-quality hotel and leisure accommodation and services, and an improved guest experience for guests and the local community alike.”

For more details or to comment on the application, type 20583 into the search browser