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Cherkley Court regains planning permission after Appeal Court overturns rejection

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The much disputed former home of press baron Lord Beaverbook will now be turned into a hotel, spa and golf course following a ruling from the court of appeal.

The High Court had previously quashed plans for Cherkley Court near Leatherhead, amid local opposition.

But the decision was then overturned after Mole Valley District Council appealed.

Developer Longshot Cherkley Court said it looked forward to pressing ahead with "this precious site of historic and environmental importance".

In a hearing on Wednesday (7 May), Lord Justices Richards, Underhill and Floyd unanimously agreed that the quashing order and costs order should be set aside.

Those opposing the plan had argued there was “no need” for a high-end golf course, which would have membership restricted to approximately 400 members.

However, allowing the appeal, Lord Justice Richards said: "I see no reason in principle why a planning policy should not lay down a requirement of need which is capable of being met by a private demand for the facility in question.

He concluded that "very special circumstances clearly outweighed the harm", including economic benefits to the area and facilities for visitors.

Plans for the £60m development include a 28 five-star private rooms or suites, and a brasserie and fine dining restaurant.

There will be an outdoor family swimming pool and a 20m indoor pool at the gym, which will also include aerobics and holistic studios.

Both the health club and the spa will be located at the former coach house. The spa will offer wet and dry treatments and will have six single and two double treatment rooms, sauna, steamroom and ice room, as well as an organic juice and tea bar.

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The much disputed former home of press baron Lord Beaverbook will now be turned into a hotel, spa and golf course following a ruling from the court of appeal.
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