Q. Who are the current owners of Amport House?
A. Another Place Ltd was founded by the team behind Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall. The vision for Another Place is to build a collection of 5 lifestyle hotels in iconic rural UK locations. Amport House, the second hotel in the collection, will open as Another Place, The Garden. The first hotel in the Another Place collection www.another.place opened on the shores of Ullswater in 2017.
Q. What are the initial plans for creating a hotel called Another Place, The Garden?
A. The hotel will offer 50 bedrooms which will include both family suites, family and large double rooms, all en-suite. The hotel will offer two dining experiences, one of which will offer a relaxed ‘all day’ style and the other will be more formal. The hospitality is relaxed, yet professional, adult focussed, yet family friendly with ofsted registered childcare facilities available.
There will be a swim club which will include a 25m indoor pool as well as an outdoor pool, treatment rooms and an exercise studio. The gardens will be protected, enhanced and improved.
Partnerships with local business will be established to deliver active experiences such as cycling, running and horse riding.
Q. What is the project timeline?
A. We hope to receive planning approval in Summer 2021 with a view to starting work in the Autumn 2021. We expect to open in late 2022/early 2023.
Q. What other properties does this firm operate.
A. The Directors/Management run Watergate Bay Hotel in Cornwall, Another Place, The Lake in Cumbria as well as a Holiday Letting Agency, Beach Retreats.
Q. How will historic features be preserved/improved?
A. When the decision was made to purchase Amport House it was made very clear to us by the MOD that as part of the tender process we would be required to provide details of the team who would be responsible for the works required to restore both the house and the grounds, both of which are listed.
We have brought together an experienced team of people who have built up many years of experience in developing and restoring listed buildings and grounds. We are engaged with the council’s conservation officer as well as the environment officer, the tree specialist etc.
Q. How many guests will the hotel serve?
A. When full, the hotel capacity will be in the region of 120 guests.
Q. Will the hotel be pet friendly?
A. Yes, we are always happy to welcome guests with their dogs on the basis that they are well behaved.
Q. What amenities will the hotel provide?
A. See earlier answer
Q. What forms of outdoor recreation will the hotel provide?
A. See earlier answer.
Q. What hotel and ground features will be accessible to Amport residents?
A. The hotel and its grounds will be accessible to anybody form the local community and we will look to establish a membership scheme for our Swim Club.
Q. What sort of events will be held at the hotel? Will there be a limit to the number of events? Will the hotel limit the number of ‘non-guest’ attendees to any events? How late will events be allowed to entertain?
A. The hotel is not going to host large scale corporate events/conferences. We will be popular for small groups of friends, colleagues, extended families, couples looking for some peace away from the working world. We will have spaces for these smaller, more intimate gatherings and private dining but nothing large. The only exception might be if one party or group takes over the whole hotel but this isn’t a market we encourage.
Q. Will the hotel emphasize locally sourced fare?
A. Yes, locally sourced produce is at the heart of our menus in order to deliver on our credentials of sustainability, independence and authenticity. We are not a big chain and therefore thinking and acting “local” is key.
Q. What are the plans for the lighting of the grounds and the entrance drive? Will light pollution be considered?
A. Amport House is blessed with some magnificent trees some of which we may consider up lighting. Some lighting will be required along the drive and parking areas and this will be of a low level only and just to ensure people are safe and confident whilst in the grounds. However, we are very well aware that we do not want to be disturbing the nocturnal animals with unnecessary external lighting.
Q. Will there be a helipad? Where will it be located? How often will it be used?
A. There will not be a helipad on site. We believe that the nearest place to land helicopters is Thruxton and we would be happy to arrange transport to and from the hotel.
Q. Is there a risk that crime rates may increase with a high-end hotel on our doorstep? Has this happened at any of your other locations?
A. We have never experienced an increase in crime rates when opening a new hotel. Our hotels are operated and managed on a 24-hour basis with trained members of the team always on site. Any areas we feel are at risk will be assessed and we will put in place the measures to manage this risk and any other deterrents we deem necessary. We have a duty of care to all and a reputation to maintain so we will always be careful.
Q. What kind of security will the hotel provide? Will the gates be controlled or attended? Will the gates be closed at night?
A. We do not envisage having security on the gates, day or night, nor do we anticipate having to ‘lock down’ the site at night. Their will however be the necessary discreet CCTV but nothing more.
Q. When will construction begin?
A. See earlier answer.
Q. How long will construction take?
A. We anticipate a 12-14 month building programme.
Q. How do you plan to minimize the impact of the construction traffic? HGV’s How will you work around the pick-up and drop off times for the local school?
A. We are very aware that this element of the construction project is hugely important to the community. As part of the submission for planning we will be submit a detailed traffic plan for consideration. We will communicate this plan to all concerned and it will become a focus for the team overseeing the construction phase of this project to deliver.
Q. How will noise be governed during construction?
A. Much of the work we will be undertaking will be inside of the property and as such the noise will be limited. This project does not involve any significant demolition which is a noisy activity.
Q. How will the hotel assist with repairing any deterioration to the local infrastructure caused by increased usage, particularly during construction? (roads and verges, drains and sewers? Etc.?) What infrastructure maybe improved as a result of the hotel? (E.g. High speed internet.)
A. We do appreciate that Furzedown Lane is narrow and have experienced the issues caused by the weekly rubbish collection which causes people to drive off the tarmac and onto the soft verge. We consider our responsibility carefully. Previously, when dealing with a private road, we undertook a road condition survey, took photographs etc. took measurements, size of pot holes etc. and agreed beforehand what we would make good and to what standard.
Q. Are traffic calming measures planned for the village? For the hotel property? Will speed limits be lowered?
A. The is a question to be aimed at TVC and their highways team. We won’t be involved in setting speed limits.
Q. Will road signs be improved to direct traffic to the hotel?
A. TBC as signage on a public highway is a planning issue.
Q. What will traffic flow look like during normal hotel operations (Guests, Deliveries, Maintenance?)
A. Once open, we do not expect traffic to materially increase compared to when the site was being operated by the MOD. We will be accommodating a similar number of residents to the previous owners.
Q. How will the hotel keep our community informed?
A. We will start the formal consultation process on 24 April at an open house event to be held at Amport House between 11am-4pm. It is very helpful to have made the link with Chris Harris and Tim Hartigan from the Parish Council. Tim has agreed to be the conduit between the community and our business to ensure feedback and thoughts are dealt with efficiently.
Q. Where can residents see more detailed plans and/or obtain more information?
A. We will share some initial plans at the open day on 24th April.
Once planning is then submitted, all the plans will be in the public domain via the TVC planning portal available for all to see.
Regular updates will be provided through the project.
Q. What is the hotel’s website?
A. www.another.place We also intend to set up an information portal for the community to track progress.
Q. When will the hotel target to open?
A. Late 2022/early 2023
Q. When will the hotel begin to take bookings?
Three months before our confirmed opening date.
Q. What can the community residents do to help support Another Place, The Garden?
A. Almost sure this is a question being asked by Tim…
We are looking to bring something very special to your community, a place where you all as residents can be very proud to be a part off and so we hope to have your constructive feedback, your support, your patience and your engagement for the long term.