Plans approved for chef’s garden at Reeth hotel and restaurant

The Burgoyne Hotel. Photo: Stuart Minting.

An oil industry leader’s ambition to create a “destination” hotel and restaurant while strengthening a Swaledale community has taken a major step forward.

Ian Hewitt told the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee he had bought the Burgoyne Hotel in the Swaledale village of Reeth last year with objectives to invest in the community and create a sustainable business.

He said to make the Georgian country house hotel a success he needed a chef’s garden for the high quality restaurant he was aiming to create, to focus on ingredients foraged locally or grown at the hotel, and had bought a large neighbouring garden to improve guests’ experiences.

Mr Hewitt said: “The previous two owners had great difficulty in making the hotel pay for itself.”

However, the committee was told neighbours and Reeth, Fremington and Healaugh Parish Council believed the 314sq m extension to the hotel’s gardens could be used to host rowdy, late-night events, where guests could look into their properties.

A planning officer said: “These events could generate significant noise and disturbance, harmful to the amenity and privacy of neighbouring residents.”

However, the officer added the garden extension would only be used for up to five low key up events a year and a range of conditions would be attached to the planning permission, to achieve a balance between the interests of the hotel and those of the residents, such as a ban on marquees, external lighting and amplified music.

He said the hotel’s front garden, overlooking the village green, would continue to be used for formal events.

Members of the authority said it was vital to support the viability of the hotel, which they were told was “a major employer” in Reeth.

Member Cosima Towneley said: “It is very important that businesses are supported and this scarcely looks like the place for a weekly rave.”

Ahead of the change of use of the land being approved, member Jocelyn Manners Armstrong said there would have been nothing to stop the garden’s previous owners from hosting parties in the garden, so it would seem “a little bit unreasonable to say the new owner of the garden can’t have any parties at all”.