Developers’ scheme to reopen Banyers hotel still on despite ‘split’ decision from district council planners

The Banyers in Royston.

The Banyers in Royston. - Credit: Archant

The redevelopment of a derelict Royston hotel will go ahead despite planners refusing parts of the application.

The Banyers hotel in Melbourn Street, Royston, has been brought by Beechdale Homes, who are seeking to reopen it as a boutique hotel with spa facilities.

A planning application went before members of North Herts District Council’s planning committee last month, and though members approved the majority of the changes being requested, they issued a ‘split’ decision, refusing a bid to build additional accommodation and treatment rooms in the grounds of the hotel.

Beechdale Homes must now decide whether to submit a new application for this part of the plan.

Managing director Martin Jackson said: “With the support from our agent, PlanSurv, we are delighted that permission has been granted in part.

“It is obviously a disappointment that the council could not agree with our plans in full.

“However we remain committed to transforming Banyers into the top class hotel that Royston deserves.”

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Permission has been granted for a two-storey rear extension and a single-storey side extension to the hotel, meaning that the layout of the bedroom accommodation can be much improved.

Beechdale says the kitchen and service areas can be streamlined with the cloakrooms and public areas also being enhanced.

The Banyers has been closed since December 2012, when previous owner Tony Roach boarded up the premises and put it up for sale.

Mr Roach had been involved in a long-running row with the district council over a marquee which he erected, without permission, in the hotel’s grounds, with opposition coming from some nearby homeowners.

The plans already had the support of Royston Town Council, while Royston’s Chamber of Commerce is also backing the move to redevelop the Banyers.

A provisional date of spring 2015 has been set for the hotel to reopen.