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Luxury spa refused planning permission for major development

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One of the UK's biggest destination spas, the Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in the village of Thorpe le Soken, Essex, has had expansion plans scuppered by local planners.

The owners of Lifehouse – Castle Hotel Management Company (CHMC) – had conceived an ambitious expansion plan to add residential and commercial real estate to the property, which sits on an expansive site.

A planning application was made last autumn for a development of 50 holiday apartments, 200 new homes, 92 assisted living properties and a number of business units.

A further £3m investment in the spa and hotel was also proposed.

CHMC argued that the project would create around 200 jobs and improve local infrastructure, while saying the proposed plans would "sustain and support the Lifehouse in the long-term, as well as bringing economic regeneration for the wider community."

However, the plans sparked fury from local residents, who feared the loss of their village's character, with the local council recently denying planning permission.

Lifehouse is the latest spa to turn to residential development to grow its business, as part of the trend towards the creation of spa and wellness communities.

Such projects have been found to create property with enhanced value as a result of its proximity to the spa.

In response to the council's decision, The Lifehouse spa and hotel board has said it's reviewing the decision and "considering all possible options".

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One of the UK's biggest destination spas, the Lifehouse Spa and Hotel in the village of Thorpe le Soken, Essex, has had expansion plans scuppered by local planners.
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The Lifehouse Spa and Hotel has had expansion plans scuppered by local planners
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