Runswick Bay: Britain's first low-energy 'Passivhaus' hotel to be built on site of former guesthouse in Yorkshire fishing village

An ambition to launch the country’s first Passivhaus hotel overlooking a Yorkshire seaside village looks set to be realised after being unanimously approved by national park guardians.

North York Moors National Park Authority members heard Octopi Property’s ultra-low energy building requiring very little additional heating off the Cleveland Way in Runswick Bay would represent a visual improvement in the fishing village.

A meeting of the authority’s planning committee was told the proposed three-storey development would see the redbrick Cliffemount Hotel, which has been empty for several years and fallen into disrepair, replaced with a 20-bedroom hotel employing 15 full-time and 15 part-time staff.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The planned development also includes a community pub and restaurant and sunken patios to serve the dining and bar areas overlooking the sea.

Runswick BayRunswick Bay
Runswick Bay

Members enthused about the environmental credentials of the hotel beside the Cleveland Way trail, after hearing claims it would be about 20 times as airtight as a standard build and feature mechanical ventilation and a heat recovery system.

Passivhaus standard properties can retain enough energy from the sun and activities of its occupants so that it requires very little additional heating or cooling.

They are created to rigorous energy efficient design standards so that they maintain an almost constant temperatureand are so well constructed, insulated and ventilated that they retain energy from inside and outside the building.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Officers told members the imposing property would have normal solar panels in areas where the roof would be hidden from public view and pantiles with solar technology secreted inside to fit in with the local traditional building style.

Ahead of the meeting North Yorkshire Council’s head of tourism had backed the venture saying it would “enhance the tourism product in the area”.

She said: “The development is considerate to the local amenity, and I fully applaud the commitment to sustainability and the Passivhaus concept. The renovation plan has been considered with the community at its heart, is sympathetic to its coastal national park location and can only benefit Runswick Bay in a positive way.”

A resident told the meeting: “This is what is needed. Cliffemount has been left to die in the last two or three years. It has been an iconic building and an iconic business and needs to continue.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The authority’s longest serving member, David Jeffels, said: “I see this as a great vote of confidence in the Yorkshire Coast tourism industry. It’s a marvellous investment and I’m sure it will have a knock-on benefit of encouraging some other similar investment in hotels.

David Hugill, a former chairman of the committee, added: “This is massive for this national park to get something like a Passivhaus hotel. It is absolutely brilliant.”