Plans to build the world’s first underground five-star hotel have been dealt a blow after local councillors rejected plans on environmental grounds.
The future of the £72m project in Hersham, Surrey, UK will now be decided by an independent inspector.
Most of the 198-room complex being below ground, but concerns remain about how the environment will be affected at the protected site. Meanwhile residents have complained that the hotel would be built on green belt land.
The hotel, at Hersham Golf Club, would include a sunken garden courtyards, a spa, restaurants, bars, green roof and a new clubhouse.
Elmbridge councillors defended their decision to reject Claudel Venture Holdings’ plans at a four-day appeal hearing last month.
Cllr Ian Donaldson said: “We do not want a hotel there, adding extra pollution and contributing to unsustainable urban sprawl – ruining our community’s quality of life.”
Mr Cahit Atasoy, CEO of Arkin Group Developments, said in a statement, “Our vision is to create a stunning boutique hotel and spa destination that will be truly unique and prestigious. It will blend into the natural woodland setting and enhance and increase the level of green landscape. At the same time the Golf Club will be improved and remain an inclusive and open amenity for the local community.”
The project scheme will see a gross area development of about 22,107m² and an additional 10,194m² car parking area.
A final ruling is expected to be made in the next few weeks.