PLANS HAVE been submitted to transform a 17th century Grade II-listed mansion near Ripon into a £25m country house hotel and spa.
The proposals would see Grantley Hall, which is set in 30 acres of wooded parkland and grounds, converted into a 52-bedroom hotel, which would aim to be one of the leading country house hotels in the UK.
The development would retain and showcase its many Georgian features. As well as accommodation, it would include a signature restaurant, a bistro and a cocktail bar set in “exquisite” formal gardens. It would also be marketed as a wedding venue.
The stately home, which runs alongside the River Skell, has been bought by Grantley Hall Ltd, a new company set up by Valeria Sykes specifically to operate the hotel.
A planning report, which has been submitted to Harrogate Council, says: “The proposed development is a unique opportunity to both improve tourist accommodation in the district and restore an important listed building.
“The investors are prepared to commit a significant amount of money to the project and it is hoped the proposal will be supported.”
It is hoped that the hotel would employ 160 staff, creating 90 full time roles.
An old stable block would be converted into staff accommodation so that employees can stay on site. The plans would also see Grantley Hall’s 1910 Japanese garden restored so that it is “likely to become one of the most important of its type in the country”.
Grantley Hall was built as a private residence for the Grantley family. The property reached the size it is today following extension projects in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The house has enjoyed a colourful history which includes it being used as a convalescent home during the Second World War.
After that, Grantley Hall was purchased by West Riding County Council and was used between 1947 and 1974 as an adult education residential college.
Remaining in local authority ownership the property was then owned by North Yorkshire County Council which ran it as a training and conference centre.
Going full circle, Grantley Hall was transformed back into a private residence after being bought in 2006.
Four years later it was sold again, with the intention of creating a hotel and spa. Planning permission was granted, however business ventures in Scotland and the USA meant the owner could no longer see the project through and the mansion went back on the market in 2013.
The latest purchase price was not disclosed but when the property was placed on the market two years ago it had a price tag of £6m.
Grantley Hall sits on an artificial island created by the canalisation of the River Skell.
When plans to convert the property into a hotel were revealed last year a spokesman for the owners said: “The company will include a wide range of highly experienced hotel and catering people who have previous experience of working in the luxury end of the market and able to provide the first class customer experience and ambience worthy of the property.
The hotel will increase available accommodation in the Ripon area and a be a perfect location to visit the many attractive North Yorkshire locations such as Fountains Abbey, Ripon Cathedral and the Dales while also being in close proximity to Harrogate and the A1.”