Raby Hunt expansion plans facing opposition

19 September 2018 by
Raby Hunt expansion plans facing opposition

Two-Michelin-starred Raby Hunt restaurant is facing opposition on its plans to expand into a cottage next door.

Darlington Borough Council is due to discuss the restaurant's planning application today, which proposes combining the Raby Hunt and adjoining Hunters End Cottage, transforming the cottage into two additional guest bedrooms, a wine storage room and improved guest toilets and staff facilities.

The cottage previously operated as a separate, residential two-bedroom cottage, and the Raby Hunt currently has just three guest bedrooms.

Although the proposed alterations do not increase the covers within the restaurant, locals have raised concerns about the plans particularly with regard to noise levels and parking problems.

Residents' objection letters describe the parking situation as "chaos" and say the changes would "compound the already poor relations between the restaurant and the village".

Chef-patron James Close said in the application that the two new bedrooms "will not cause an appreciable increase in customers/vehicles" as the bedrooms "will accommodate diners who are already in the restaurant" rather than them staying at alternative hotels nearby.

He added that it could be argued noise from cars would be more of a problem to residents at night than it would be in the morning, "so the proposals may actually improve matters".

The council has recommended that planning permission be granted and said the increase in customers will be "negligible", although they may well stay longer, but that "the impact on local residents and highway congestion will not be material and certainly not sufficient to warrant a refusal of planning permission in this instance".

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