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Gloucestershire Business News

Dunkerton's Lucky Onion reveals latest plans

No stranger to revealing plans to achieve a considerable footprint on Gloucestershire's pub, bar and hotel trade - the Lucky Onion is at it again.

Julian Dunkerton's boutique hotel, bar, restaurant and pub chain has won permission to transform a Cotswold pub into one of its own.

Only last month the Cheltenham-based business, owned by the founder of Superdry clothing, unveiled its latest creation next to its established Bar 131 in the spa town's Montpellier quarter.

Now the nosy parkers among us are able to see what the business - which is quickly amassing a considerable property empire - plans for The Wild Duck Inn, Drakes Island, Ewen, near Cirencester.

"Refurbishments and extension of the Wild Duck comprising demolition and re-building of the west wing to create additional guest accommodation, extension to dining area, alterations to the internal layout, general restorative repairs and maintenance, additional parking and re-landscaping, together with associated works," is what its planning application filed with Cotswold District Council said.

The building is in a conservation area and was acquired by the Lucky Onion business in 2015 and has already undergone some investment and refurbishment.

But with just-granted new planning permission it will be able to embark on a more ambitious project, to add 15 new-build hotel rooms at ground and first floor level and six refurbished rooms.

"The proposals seek to sympathetically restore and enhance the historic elements of the Wild Duck Inn," according to a statement to the local authority by Jenny Henderson, a senior planner for Ridge and Partners LLP.

Staff numbers are expected to fall as a result of the changes, from nine full time to four, and from seventeen to five part time staff.

Parking will increase by eight spaces to 30, floorspace in the drinking establishment would grow by 272 square metres and eight more rooms would be added, taking the total to 21.

Accommodation would also include some unusual lodgings - specially built for the Lesser Horseshoe and Soprano Pipistrelle bats already in situ.

The use of air source heat pumps combined with a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system is being considered as "the most appropriate form of renewable energy to incorporate into this project".

Read more: Lucky Onion to peel off layers hiding latest business 

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