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Gloucestershire Business News

Plans submitted for 74 bedroom 'agricultural barn' hotel at Gloucester Services

Plans have been lodged to build a 74-bed hotel at the southbound branch of Gloucester Services.

Designed by Birmingham-based Glen Howells Architects, the plans have been lodged with Stroud District Council by Gloucestershire Gateway Limited.

According to documents lodged with the application, the hotel would be run by Westmoreland, the operators of the services.

It would be sited to the north of the existing car park on the southbound services, away from the existing service area buildings.

According to the plans, there will not be gardens to the front of the hotel, instead there would be a "arrival threshold" which would welcome guests, not into a foyer but a "welcome barn."

The building would comprise of three barns, placed in a rough U shape, rising as high as three stories in places.

The application said: "The 'agricultural' style barns are embedded in the landscape and bounded on all sides by a stone wall which, in places, has broken down to allow the passage of guests through them.

"They intend to create a sense of arrival for approaching guests, and to offer a threshold to ensure the hotel arrangement feels wholly embedded in the landscape, and not just a hotel adjacent to a car park.

It adds: "After arriving along the axial approach path, guests check-in with relaxing courtyard views of water, Cotswold stone and wild flowers.

"The Welcome Barn is entered centrally with a central island bar both welcoming guests and serving the additional function of dividing the restaurant into more intimate seating areas with a fire place and sofas offering a variety of opportunities for guests to rest.

"A show kitchen is located behind the island bar to further add to a sense of relaxation and warmth as good, honest and simple food can be seen to be prepared.

"Guests are encouraged to experience the courtyard via large glazed sliding doors in the Welcome Barn and from their ground floor rooms which each have a split 'barn' door opening out to the landscape."

Westmoreland had originally hoped to build a 100 bed hotel, but after consulting with the local population in Whaddon and Upton St Leonards decided to scale down the plans.

That has allowed them - according to the application to design the hotel as a 'subservient barn' outbuilding to the 'focal farmtead' that is the main service area - no really!

The application added: ""The design of the proposed development has been landscape led to ensure that it is embedded within the immediate MSA complex and wider environment and impact on the landscape is minimised.

"Engagement with stakeholders and the local community has also been a key stage of the design process, whereby views have been considered and, where possible, taken on board.

"The scheme is founded on the best practice in landscape architecture, architecture and sustainable development.

"The result is a design proposal that is sympathetic to its environment, of high quality design, with a strong identity and sense of place.

"The design is uniquely responsive to the opportunities and constraints of the site whilst staying true to the original design concept of a collection of 'agricultural outbuildings' subservient to the focal 'farmstead' (MSA complex)."

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