A historic country hotel in Herefordshire is set to undergo a major transformation that will see some of its vacated space being used to build nearly 50 new homes. Penyard House, situated near the A40 between Weston under Penyard and Ross-on-Wye, has remained closed for three years. But now, a plan by Mike Etheridge Construction of Coleford, Gloucestershire is seeking to retain the hotel’s main building, which is over 200 years old, as a “bespoke, bijou” 14-room hotel and restaurant while converting its modern extensions and outbuildings to 49 homes.

The new homes will meet national space standards and feature “ample outdoor amenity space,” according to the application. The development will comprise 12 one-bedroom flats, 23 two-bedroom flats, and 10 three-bedroom flats, giving families, couples, single occupiers, and elderly people the opportunity to reside within the development. The plan offers locals a chance to get on the housing ladder.

The proposed development will retain almost all the trees in the nine-acre grounds, with 25 new trees and 50 metres of hedgerow to be planted. The hotel currently has 80 en-suite rooms, 12 of which are in the original house, 44 in its extension (which will become 32 flats), and a further 24 in a separate accommodation block, which will be converted into 17 flats.

There won’t be any demolition or new construction work involved in the project, although the windows and doors will be replaced. The hotel has been a favourite among corporate and leisure guests since 2011, and it was an ideal venue for hosting functions. But the pandemic dealt a severe blow to the hospitality industry, and the hotel was no longer operationally or financially viable, leading to its closure in Spring 2020.

The application has been submitted, and comments on it can be made until March 16. This transformation of Penyard House into a mixture of a boutique hotel and a housing estate hopes to breathe new life into the local economy.