A PLANNING application has been submitted as part of the first stage of an ambitious project to restore a 19th-century former hotel.

Adams Planning and Development Ltd, (APD), on behalf of Elliot and Hannah Cooper, the owners of Abbot Hall, near Grange, since 2021, has submitted a change of use application relating to the transformation of the derelict stables complex of the property into three separate holiday cottages.

If the application is successful, the cottages will each take up a wing of the three-sided stables (a later addition to the Grade II Listed 1847 main house), and will consist of six, three, and two bedrooms respectively, as well as refurbishing the adjacent 'cottage' to form a two-bedroom 'managers accommodation'.

The summary application is for: "Change of use of former stable block to holiday let accommodation with part-demolition of first-floor link structure, re-cladding of cottage to provide staff accommodation and associated access, car port with car parking and photovoltaic panels with associated infrastructure and ancillary facilities."

The Mail: The three-sided stables, that could form the three cottagesThe three-sided stables, that could form the three cottages

A covering letter from APD to South Lakeland District Council says: "The applicants' wider aspirations are to reinstate the beautiful home that once resided at Abbot Hall and reimagine the grounds to create a sustainable, profit-making business that facilitates the restoration and ongoing maintenance for the Grade II Listed Hall and associated grounds."

The estate had been owned by property firm the Carlauren Group, since 2018, but the company fell into administration in 2019.

READ MORE: Lake District hotel owner goes into administration

The application states that the current submission, which relates only to the stables and cottage, will be followed by subsequent applications to further the project, which is outlined in the Design and Access Statement: "The current arrangement of the main hall, its surrounding landscape, and outbuildings, is unsatisfactory as a series of insensitive additions and adaptations have been made to create an outdated hotel model with an undesirable holiday retreat alongside. 

"The hotel has repeatedly failed and fallen into disrepair. 

The Mail: Abbot Hall currently. Photo APDAbbot Hall currently. Photo APD

"The project goal is to reconfigure and reimagine Abbot Hall, first by understanding the original building, its outbuildings, extensions and additions, and then by proposing a set of sensitive interventions to restore and redistribute accommodation across the site. 

"The intention is to move away from the hotel model, allow the hall to be restored as a large family home with an exciting holiday destination alongside but independent of the house usage. 

READ MORE: Green light given to convert historic barn into holiday let

"The scheme proposes to create sensitive self-catered accommodation within original outbuildings, remove modern constructions that are more obtrusive within the site, restore key landscape components, and consolidate parking. 

"This will improve the listed asset, restore original features, enhance the setting and site, and improve the holiday and commercial offer."