BOSSES behind plans to bulldoze a historic Hampshire hotel have been allowed to retain a security fence that was built without planning permission.

PegasusLife installed the solid wooden hoardings at the Lyndhurst Park Hotel without waiting for the application to be debated by the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

But the fence was granted temporary planning permission for 18 months at a meeting of the NPA's planning committee.

Lyndhurst Park Hotel in Lyndhurst Lyndhurst Park Hotel in Lyndhurst

It comes more than a year after PegasusLife was criticised for failing to protect the landmark hotel from thieves and vandals.

Critics claimed a "priceless" stained-glass window installed in the 19th century was among several items which had been damaged or destroyed by intruders.

Kate Holden, representing PegasusLife, told the committee: "While we're fully aware of objections to the hoardings, it seems perverse that some of those objections are made in tandem with comments that PegasusLife is not taking its responsibilities to secure the building seriously."

The Lyndhurst Park Hotel about 100 years ago. The Lyndhurst Park Hotel about 100 years ago.

The objectors also came under fire from NPA member Richard Frampton.

He said: "PegasusLife are pilloried whatever they do. First they are criticised for not securing the site securely and allowing the vandals in, and then they are criticised for putting up these hoardings to try and protect it."

The hotel, which closed in 2014 with the loss of 20 jobs, has been at the centre of a long-running dispute between PegasusLife and the NPA.

The developer wants to demolish the building and redevelop the site.

It application to construct 74 apartments and a dozen holiday homes was rejected by the NPA. A subsequent proposal for 75 flats and 15 affordable homes was also turned down after sparking 800 objections.

An appeal relating to the second application will be heard at the Forest Lodge Hotel in Lyndhurst early next year.

Built as Glasshayes House in about 1810 the hotel has links to the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

As reported in the Daily Echo the building was redesigned in 1912 with the help of legendary author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who lived at nearby Brook and was a frequent visitor.

The new security fence, installed several weeks ago, sparked nine letters of protest.

Some of the objections were lodged on the grounds the hoardings had already been erected. Critics claimed the unauthorised structure was an eyesore which harmed the character and appearance of the area.

But PegasusLife defended its actions, saying it had a duty to secure the building.


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