THE new owners of a landmark hotel in the New Forest are preparing to submit an application to transform the site.

The derelict Lyndhurst Park Hotel, part of which collapsed earlier this month, has been bought by the Christchurch-based Hoburne Development.

Hoburne is understood to have drawn up proposals to build homes, holidays lets and shops on the land.

Members of Lyndhurst Parish Council claim an application could be submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) as early as March.

Steve Avery, the NPA's executive director of strategy and planning, said: "The owners have been in touch with our planning department and have requested a meeting.

"We’re now putting arrangements in place to fix a date for a pre-application discussion."

New Forest Post:

The hotel was at the centre of a long-running battle between its previous owners, PegasusLife, and the NPA, which rejected two applications to use the site for housing.

Formerly a country mansion called Glasshayes House, the building was converted into a hotel in 1895.

Part of the complex was redesigned in 1912 with the help of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, who lived at nearby Brook.

Campaigner Brice Stratford said: "I would like to see a development which retains and restores the historic portion of the building to its Conan Doyle heyday, with further development that respects and reflects the heritage of the village."

New Forest Post:

Mr Stratford called for the site to be used for more than one purpose.

"I'd like to see a mix of tourism, residential, and retail which respects the existing trees and landscape, and which has a healthy provision of affordable homes and no age restrictions," he said.

The hotel closed in 2014 with the loss of about 20 jobs.

In 2017 it was revealed that vandals were targeting the building. Conservationists said a “priceless” stained-glass window installed in the 19th century was one of several items which had been damaged or destroyed by the intruders.

Earlier this month a three-storey section of the building collapsed into a fenced-off area at the back of the site.

Parish councillors have held talks with Hoburne's directors and say they are "really pleased" with what the company is planning to do with the site - regarded as the eastern gateway to the village.

A spokesperson for Hoburne Deveopment said: "We are currently compiling various information in anticipation to submit a planning application.

"At this stage we are unable to confirm specific timeframes as we are reliant on input from several external sources.

"We understand the importance of the Lyndhurst Park Hotel site and will share relevant updates when appropriate."