Passivhaus: Yorkshire coast could become home to UK's first ultra-low energy hotel

A hotel in Runswick Bay near Whitby could become the UK’s ‘first Passivhaus hotel’ if its renovation plan is approved.

The Cliffemount Hotel in Runswick Bay near Whitby has said it is seeking planning permission from North Yorkshire Council that could make it the UK’s “first Passivhaus hotel”. Passivhaus – or passive house – is a voluntary energy efficiency design standard that aims to reduce a building’s ecological footprint and can result in “ultra-low energy” buildings.

Last year the 20-bedroom hotel was bought by Karen Fojt and her family with the aim of reinvesting in the local area. The plan aims to rebuild the hotel with sustainability “at the forefront of its design”.

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The hotel’s directors have said they are keen to limit the impact they have on the environment and the local community and “adhering to Passivhaus standards would be just one of the ways that the community is put at the heart” of the scheme.

Runswick Bay could get the UK's first Passivhaus hotelRunswick Bay could get the UK's first Passivhaus hotel
Runswick Bay could get the UK's first Passivhaus hotel

The planning permission process for the hotel’s renovation has begun with the aim of reopening in Spring 2025. The Cliffemount said it recently organised a public consultation event with around 50 attendees who provided feedback on the proposal.

Melissa Tomlinson, one of Cliffemount’s directors said: “The public consultation was a fantastic event, allowing us to engage with members of the community and proudly present our vision and hotel designs.”

She added: “Gaining people’s feedback is absolutely key to the process, and hearing all the positive comments really does drive us forward towards our mission.”

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Richard Smith, a food and beverage consultant, said: “There’s a feeling of real excitement and positive anticipation from people about the development and project.”

Runswick Bay, which is located a few miles north of Whitby, is a popular summer holiday destination and is part of the Cleveland Way National Trail.