A LANDMARK hotel on the shore of Coniston Water has been given planning permission for a major extension, creating 10 full-time jobs.

The 24-bed Waterhead Hotel on Hawkshead Road has been given the go-ahead for 18 extra bedrooms and 27 car parking spaces.

The refurbishment will mean it will have 42 bedrooms and 53 car parking spaces when finished. Lake District National Park Authority planners also gave permission for an activity equipment store to be used for the storage of pedal cycles.

The hotel is believed to be more than 100 years old and was acquired last September by Newcastle-based hotel company Inn Collection Lakes (Coniston) Ltd.

The hotel employed 19 full and part-time staff and representatives told the national park authority it planned to “invest in and improve” in the hotel, which counted the Victorian artist and social critic John Ruskin as a former guest.

Documents to Lake District National Park planners pointed out the building was not listed. “The Waterhead Hotel has been used as a hotel for many years enabling people to enjoy the national park. The intention is that this continues, hence the applicant’s investment in the business and their desire to improve the building while maintaining the character of the building.”

The applicants said a major internal refurbishment would create a more “open and informal” bar and restaurant. The kitchen, back of house areas, existing bedrooms and staff accommodation would all be upgraded.

The application won the support of long-standing Coniston Parish cllr Anne Hall, who represents the village on South Lakeland District Council.

She said: “I would like to fully support this application for a building that for a long time has needed investment to upgrade facilities. The location will take the additional rooms with little impact on surrounding views.”

She said the village needed extra bed space and bigger hotel facilities.

The application was granted with nine conditions by David McGowan, the national’s park head of development management.

His report said: “The development would not result in harm to the wider landscape as it would be seen in the context of the existing large villa and it would not overly dominate it. I consider that there would be no significant impact on the World Heritage Site.” The plans include a new passenger lift and staircase serving all floors and an internal fire escape.