Rudding Park Hotel and Spa: Plans for Yorkshire's first five-star country club given green light by councillors

Councillors have approved a plan by Rudding Park Hotel and Spa to a build a new golfing clubhouse, family hub, four tennis courts and reinstate a walled garden.

North Yorkshire Council’s strategic planning committee met in Northallerton this morning to consider the application, which the resort says will result in an additional 75 full time jobs and lead to an extra £14.3 million being spent in the local area every year.

Planning documents stated its current clubhouse was originally built as a temporary facility but has now outgrown its useful life and “considerably discredits the course.”

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The new building will be spread over two storeys and also will feature swimming pools, restaurants, a gym and changing rooms.

Rudding Park Hotel & SpaRudding Park Hotel & Spa
Rudding Park Hotel & Spa

Simon Mackaness, owner of Rudding Park, told councillors that the scheme will secure the future of the business.

He said: “As owners, this application presents our family’s commitment to securing the long-term future of the site. The plans have been subject to much discussion with officers and consultees. It presents a unique opportunity to build on our past successes and provide high-quality facilities.”

The buildings will be constructed to the BREEAM “excellent” environmental standard to put them in the top 10% of new buildings in the country.

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Green Party councillor for Aire Valley, Andy Brown, praised the scheme for its eco credentials. He said: “All too often we see developers pay lip service to biodiversity, sustainability and good design. I looked at this with a critical eye on those issues and was happy with what I saw.”

How the new country club will look at Rudding Park Hotel & SpaHow the new country club will look at Rudding Park Hotel & Spa
How the new country club will look at Rudding Park Hotel & Spa

Rudding Park is a sprawling 300-acre estate three miles south of Harrogate.

But as it sits on green belt land, planning policy only permits development in “very special circumstances.”

Labour councillor for Whitby Streonshalh, Neil Swannick, said he felt the positives did not outweight the harm of building on green belt. He said: “The economic benefits for the area are substantial, I recognise that, but will I support the building of a county club on the green belt? No, I won’t.”

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However, Conservatives & Independents councillor for Appleton Roebuck & Church Fenton, Andrew Lee, argued that the strict tests for building on green belt had been met. He said: “Yes, it’s in the green built but Rudding Park is an important local site and they’ve demonstrated a commitment to sustainable development.

“The economic benefits mean more jobs for the local area, a £14m additional boost to local economy and securing the site for future generations and users. Taking all those things into account, I’m comfortable that the impact on the green built has been sufficiently mitigated.”

Councillors voted to approve the application with conditions by 12 votes to 1.