A new £7m luxury spa is coming to Harrogate’s Rudding Park as permission is passed for building work to begin.
Owners were granted consent by planners on Tuesday.
The new spa, featuring a 17m swimming pool, treatment rooms, restaurant and shops, will take 14 months to build. And, say owners, it will bring a huge amount of tourist trade to Harrogate.
“The complex will be the most comprehensive and exclusive spa in this region,” said Simon Mackaness, chairman of Rudding Park. “There are few spas in Yorkshire that have these facilities. It will bring in a leisure guest, who will spend money in the town. It will put the spa back into Harrogate.”
The application was passed unanimously by Harrogate Borough Council’s (HBC) planning committee on Tuesday.
Plans for a similar scheme, which were on a larger footprint and with a gymnasium and dance studio, were approved in 2008 but never built.
This, said council officers, was down to the recession. Changing markets, and a changing target market meant potential spa guests’ needs had changed considerably since that time.
The new plans from agents Carter Jonas would see a 3,814sq m complex, dipping down below ground with just a single-storey extension visible from afar. There will be 10 treatment rooms, a juice bar, indoor and outdoor hyrotherapy room, swimming pool, restaurant and shops.
“Rudding Park is probably one of the leading hotels in the north of England,” said Coun Bernard Bateman, (Con, Wathvale). “It’s important that we approve this application - we need luxury hotels. It brings trade to the area.”
Coun Jim Clark, (Con, Rossett) said: “This will be a great asset to the visitor economy. This will be a first rate facility and a major attraction.”
Speaking after Tuesday’s meeting, owners and directors at the luxury hotel said the development was needed.
“Our top competitors all have these facilities,” said managing director Peter Banks.
“We like to think we’re recapturing Harrogate’s spa heritage. It will bring in a high spending guest from out of the region. And this is the real thing - this is a grown up spa.”
Some small works are to start this winter, ceasing over the summer period, to allow for the major building work to begin in October next year. It is hoped that work will be completed by Christmas 2016.
“We’ve now been working towards this since 1987 when we converted the house,” said Mr Mackaness. “It’s come full circle for us. We will have everything now.
“It’s been a pleasure dealing with Harrogate Borough Council. Everything has been done in the time scale. As a result of that, we can now start our enabling work this winter.”