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Hotel plans to carry out £1m expansion

PUBLISHED: 10:51 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:39 01 August 2010

A COUNTRY hotel on the Suffolk/Norfolk border has submitted major plans to nearly double the number of its rooms and set up an upmarket camping site.

The news that Fritton House on the Somerleyton estate, near Lowestoft, wants to carry out a £1m expansion comes only nine months after the historic site was closed due to the economic downturn.

A COUNTRY hotel on the Suffolk/Norfolk border has submitted major plans to nearly double the number of its rooms and set up an upmarket camping site.

The news that Fritton House on the Somerleyton estate, near Lowestoft, wants to carry out a £1m expansion comes only nine months after the historic site was closed due to the economic downturn.

Fritton House owner Hugh Crossley, son of Lord and Lady Somerleyton, wants to increase the hotel's room capacity from 9 to 17 with the addition of a new accommodation wing.

The blueprints also include a new restaurant, reading room, improved reception area and the creation of a day retreat and upmarket camping area with cabins and tents.

If the plans are approved by Yarmouth Borough Council, then work on converting parts of the 15th century former coaching inn at the gateway to Fritton Lake country park and building new facilities could be completed in 2011.

It is hoped that the new-look hotel will make help to make Fritton Lake a top residential draw for tourists.

Fritton House opened in 2006 after a £500,000 conversion project - but in January it was forced to suspend operations because of the economic climate.

In July the hotel started taking in guests again after Southwold-based brewer and hotelier Adnams signed up to run it on Mr Crossley's behalf - creating 40 jobs in the process.

Mr Crossley hopes that the expansion plans will see the hotel's good work over the last three months in alluring guests continue for many years to come.

He said: “We are very hopeful that the good relationship with Adnams will continue to develop through this major redesign.

“We have been looking at what other upmarket hotels have to offer - but we are keen to retain the hotel's old charm and the charm of its setting.

“We are moving away for the 1980s heyday of Fritton Lake as a day attraction to a more residential attraction.”

Yarmouth Borough Council's development control committee will debate the Fritton House plans at a later date.

Up to 25 jobs at the hotel could be created if the plans, which are designed to address heritage and conservation issues, are given the green light.

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