THE possible revamp of a hotel between York and Selby is back on the table after the owners submitted fresh plans to create a new spa.
Planners at Selby District Council are expected to make a decision in the autumn on whether the proposed facility at the three-star Parsonage Country House Hotel at Escrick can go ahead.
A previous application to build a single-storey leisure base on the Main Street site was withdrawn last summer after residents in the village complained the extension would harm the appearance of the area, which lies in the green belt.
Now the hotel owners have resubmitted their request to be allowed to demolish a greenhouse on their grounds and replace it with a spa boasting a swimming pool, sauna and steam room, a gym, sunbeds, a treatment and consulting room and a hair and beauty centre.
They also say that, if the scheme is given approval, it would create eight new full-time jobs on top of the 22 permanent and 41 part-time roles already in place at the hotel, adding that a survey of Escrick residents showed “clear support” for the facility and the employment opportunities it could bring.
“Spa facilities are a legitimate expectation of guests and the hotel’s booking agents have indicated guests have expressed a preference in favour of those hotels which have them,” said a design and access statement sent to the council by the agents for the scheme, Gregory Gray Associates.
“This will also benefit the wider community, including residents of Escrick, which currently has no such facilities. The market in which the hotel is operating is changing rapidly and, without additional facilities, it risks being left further behind.”
The statement claimed the spa was needed to bring the Parsonage’s occupancy rates up to the national average and allow it to match its competitors.
It added: “There can be no justification for an argument that the business should not be expected to prosper simply because it is located in the Green belt.”
A decision on the plans is set to be made in September.