The White House Hotel and Spa

Environmental Impact Assessment of conversion of a Listed building

Client

CMR Leisure

Background

CMR Leisure purchased an historic Grade II listed house set within a mature 19th century parkland near St Austell, Cornwall, with a view to converting it to a Boutique Hotel. The house and gardens had been abandoned for over two decades, with the result that the entire estate, which included walled gardens, stable blocks, ponds and woodland, was derelict.

Description

The proposed scheme, to convert the existing house and construct new buildings to accommodate a 120 bedroom hotel, spa, and lodges within the grounds, was ambitious. Landmark was commissioned to scope and co-ordinate the Environmental Impact Assessment, to assist in overall masterplanning, to conduct a landscape, visual impact and ecological assessment and to prepare landscape plans to inform a full planning application.

The White House lies to the south of St Austell in an historic wooded parkland setting of substantial ecological interest, and is overlooked by footpaths within the Cornwall AONB. The main tourist route to the south coast from St Austell, the St Austell River, and a long-distance cycleway run adjacent to the site, which lies immediately opposite the small village of Tregorrick. The emerging development masterplan had to respond carefully to these sensitive receptors, whilst also drawing on the original structure of the early 19th Century garden and park and adapting it to meet the 21st Century demands for a high quality hotel resort.

Client Benefits

The landscape and visual assessment informed the masterplan and detailed landscape proposals. The masterplan included photomontages of the appearance of new buildings in close proximity with the Grade II listed house and parkland, which helped to visualise the appearance of proposed development for the client, statutory authorities and the public. Planning consent was granted in summer 2005.