Restoration of crumbling Peak District hunting lodge into holiday accommodation set for green light

The restoration of a magnificent former Peak District hunting lodge is being backed by councillors.
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They voted overwhelmingly in favour of £5m plans to restore crumbling Thornseat Lodge and turn it into holiday accommodation and a wedding venue. But rubber stamping the decision will have to wait until the next meeting of the Peak District National Park Planning Authority due to red tape. It is understood officials were recommending the scheme for refusal and had failed to draw up planning conditions to go with assent.

Thornseat, on Mortimer Road, High Bradfield, was built for steel tycoon Sidney Jessop 165 years ago. Today it is owned by the Hague family of Sheffield, who were represented by Mark Boyd, of Urbana Town Planning.

He said: “We are very pleased to see committee members see value in the restoration of the lodge. They saw the bigger picture of saving a heritage asset in the Peak District and I think they acknowledged the benefit to the economy. The application should come back to the July meeting when we are confident it should be approved. The building is in a critical state now and the family is keen to get going.”

Councillors are backing the £5m plans to restore crumbling Thornseat Lodge and turn it into holiday accommodation and wedding venue.Councillors are backing the £5m plans to restore crumbling Thornseat Lodge and turn it into holiday accommodation and wedding venue.
Councillors are backing the £5m plans to restore crumbling Thornseat Lodge and turn it into holiday accommodation and wedding venue.

An initial scheme in 2021 was refused over ‘harm’ to the building, the landscape and the area’s tranquility and dark skies. It was not a ‘sustainable’ location, the proposal did not ‘mitigate the impacts of climate change’ and it would ‘exacerbate the impact of traffic’, argued councillors.

Now, following a string of changes - and barring a shock upset - the lodge is set to become five self-contained holiday dwellings. A wedding and function hall will stand on the footprint of the former stableyard and a bunkhouse for ramblers will go on the site of a ruined cottage.

Thornseat was built in 1855 for Sidney Jessop, son of the founder of eminent Sheffield steel-makers William Jessop and Sons, which had a huge works near where Forgemasters is today on Brightside Lane.

It passed through four generations before being sold to Sheffield Corporation in 1934. It was used as a children’s home until 1980. Disused for 43 years, it is a wreck on the way to ruin.

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