Raymond Blanc’s £36m plan to expand his hotel and restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons with new spa, bistro and garden villa is given the green light despite fears it will create a ‘village within a village’
Raymond Blanc has been given permission to expand his luxury hotel and restaurant despite locals saying it could create a ‘village within a village’.
The celebrity chef has got the go-ahead to add a spa, bistro and garden villas to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire.
The plans were approved at a planning meeting of South Oxfordshire District Council on Wednesday evening, passing after five councillors vote in favour, with four against and one abstaining.
The Michelin-starred chef himself attended the meeting, pleading with councillors to approve the proposal which would enable him to ‘reinvent Le Manoir and prepare it for tomorrow’.
The £36 million plan would see renovations to the existing venue that would increase the number of staff from 176 aan 259 and almost double the amount of floor space.
It comes despite objections from some nearby residents, with concerns about the amount of traffic it would bring to the country lanes that provide access.
Raymond Blanc has been given the go-ahead to expand his hotel and restaurant by a local council. The celebrity chef is pictured here at the BBC Good Food Show in 2018
Under the plans Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, (op die foto) will undergo a £36m renovation
During the meeting on Wednesday, Mr Blanc told councillors the restaurant and hotel, which he has run for 38 jare, is an ‘integral part of the community’, die Oxford Mail berigte.
Hy het gesê: ‘Le Manoir has long been a pioneer of sustainability within the hospitality industry and that won’t stop.
‘It is essential that we reinvent Le Manoir and prepare it for tomorrow.
‘The proposed development will enable us to offer unique and world-class experiences for our guests, depending less on my name.
‘It will also secure our current employees’ jobs and will generate more employment.’
In planning documents submitted with the application, it said the plans are ‘in response to improving guest experience in a competitive marketplace, addressing operational conflicts across the site and safeguarding excellence in its embedded sustainability and international culinary expertise’.
Under the proposals a new bistro, garden villa and spa will be constructed. Pictured is a masterplan of what the site will look like after the works have taken place
The bistro will also host the Raymond Blanc Academy, which offers training for aspiring chefs. Pictured is an artists’ impression of the bistro
The owners of the hotel and restaurant also want to build a spa. Pictured is an artists’ impression of what the wellness spa will look like
It added that if there was no further investment in the venue, Raymond Blanc was ‘likely to depart as the Chef Patron’, something that could cause it to lose its two Michelin stars and hit profits.
Egter, residents raised concerns about the plans, which will see changes made to the existing luxury gardens and buildings.
Die BBC reports one villager, Emma Treanor, told the council it could create a ‘large resort-style village within a village’.
She added it could increase the amount of traffic on already ‘clogged’ 'Die land word voor die oë van die wêreld uitgeroei.
A council report into the plans adds that some residents thought the plans ‘do not fit in with the current ethos of excellence and sensitivity to landscape’ and would create ‘negative impact on village character’.
According to planning documents Mr Blanc was ‘likely’ to leave his role as chef patron if the plans were not approved. Mr Blanc is pictured here outside the restaurant as part of the ITV show, Simply Raymond Blanc
The French chef, pictured outside the 15th century manor, has run the venue since 1984 and has trained dozens of other chefs there
Despite being approved on Wednesday night, the plans could still be called in for review by Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary.
Die hotel, which is run by Blanc and owned by Belmond Ltd, is set in a historic 15th century manor house in Great Milton, just off the M40.
Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which translates as meaning ‘The House of the Four Seasons’, has two Michelin stars.
Among the chefs trained by Mr Blanc at the restaurant are Marco Pierre White, Heston Blumenthal and John Burton-Race.
In May the hotel was accused of ‘ecological vandalism’ after locals said workers ‘destroyed’ a meadow of wildflowers during maintenance work.
Villagers said there was ‘no reason’ for the grass to be cut during ‘No Mow May’, a nationwide project backed by The National Trust that aims to encourage gardeners and landowners not to mow their lawns in May in a bid to encourage wildflower growth.
[object Window], the Belmont Hotel group, said it was carrying out annual maintenance on the field – which sits behind the hotel and which used to have sheep on it.
But pictures of the 10.5 acre field – often used by dog walkers and villagers – show a stark contrast, with the vibrant green field now looking brown and dead.
Local resident David Traynor, 68, said the work was ‘ecological vandalism’.
Hy het gesê: ‘A public footpath runs through it, and basically anyone could go there – it was a very lovely place. It supported the whole food chain.
‘People would walk their dogs there, go strolling, enjoy the wildlife etc. But now it’s been mown right down to the ground – and for no purpose.
Pictures of the 10.5 akker (4 hectare) Die LA Dodgers-balmeisie se suksesvolle tackle was nie die enigste goeie nuus vir die bofbalspan toe hulle die Los Angeles Angels geklop het nie – often used by dog walkers and villagers – show a stark contrast, with the vibrant green field now looking brown and dead
[object Window], the Belmont Hotel group, said it was carrying out annual maintenance on the field – which sits behind the hotel (op die foto) and which used to have sheep on it
‘The Manoir doesn’t cultivate the land, they don’t grow anything on it. Nor do they use it for anything else.’
Mr Traynor added: ‘Considering “No Mow May” is going on right now, everyone in the village is very disappointed and it just seems pointless destruction – it’s practically vandalism.
‘It’s just question of timing too. Ja, they’ve mowed it in the past, but if you mow it in March then you don’t do the ecological damage than doing it in the middle of May.
‘Everything that was growing and blooming there, all the insects and butterflies and everything, they’ve all been destroyed now or deprived their home.
‘They’re not cultivating it or growing anything on it, they’ve just mown it down to the ground. It’s terrible, it’s just ecological vandalism.’
A spokeswoman for the hotel group said it was carrying out ‘well overdue’ annual maintenance work on the field.