Plans to demolish Buxton’s historic Buckingham Hotel put forward again

An historic 37-bed Buxton hotel hopes to demolish its Victorian-era building and replace it with a newbuild 95-bed alternative - after plans were refused three times previously.

Tuesday, 6th October 2020, 4:50 pm

Designs for the new Buckingham Hotel were branded ‘ungainly’ and ‘out of context’ when planners refused the application in 2016, 2018 and last year.

Council officers said the town centre development would cause ‘less than substantial harm’ to the historic architecture around Buxton.

They wrote how the plans would lead to the complete loss of a ‘non-designated heritage asset’ and the applicant had failed to demonstrate this was outweighed by public benefits.

Buckingham Hotel, Buxton. Picture: Chris Etchells

Boyarsky Murphy Architects say the hotel has a ‘conservation deficit of £451,370’ as a result of structural repairs to the existing building.

They also say a hotel would not be ‘viable’ if the existing building was repaired, extended or converted.

New plans submitted in August propose demolishing the currently ‘structurally unsound’ structure - replacing it with ‘an exemplar for the transformation of a heritage

building’.

Buckingham Hotel, Buxton. Picture: Chris Etchells

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The development - including basement parking - would be 0.3 metres smaller in height than previous submissions.

However it would be 900 sq mtrs overall - including a four-storey side and rear extension already agreed in 2006 - making the building 16 per cent larger than the current Buckingham Hotel.

Architects Boyarsky Murphy say the building - consisting of sandstone - will create up to 50 full-time jobs, delivering a contemporary, sustainable and accessible hotel.

They write that it will deliver ‘modern guest facilities commensurate with the local authority’s aspiration of Buxton becoming a world class calibre tourism asset - attracting over 45,000 visitors a year.

The plans have attracted conservation concerns from Historic England and Nestle Waters.

David Walsh, principal inspector of historic buildings and areas for the Government body, wrote how ‘on heritage grounds’ he did not consider the new building would be an acceptable replacement and ‘nor would it justify the proposed demolition’.

And Nestle Waters say construction of a basement at the site - 450 metres from Buxton’s thermal water source at the Crescent - posed a potential risk as a result of the associated drilling of boreholes, piles and excavation.

The applicant has been contacted but declined to comment.

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