A COUNTRY hotel has scaled back its massive expansion plans – in a bid to please customers.
The Villa, in Wrea Green, won permission last year to build a 400-capacity function suite and 37 new bedrooms, but a much smaller development is now on the cards.
Owner Simon Rigby has axed plans for the bedrooms and is hoping to embark on a £2m project to create two brand new, smaller function rooms – just as his guests have asked for.
Businessman Mr Rigby, who has owned the hotel for two years, said: “As much as anything we have changed the plans because of pressure from our customers – people very much like The Villa as it is.
“All our customers have fallen in love with our temporary function marquee and this new building will look exactly the same on the inside.
“People want the marquee so I thought what on earth am I spending all this money for to build something my customers don’t want, so I want to build a permanent version of it.”
And Mr Rigby said rather than trying to make The Villa more contemporary – the aim of the previous plans – the new scheme would keep the hotel’s “existing qualities”.
The plans are due to go before Fylde Council’s development management committee on Wednesday – at 10am in St Annes Town Hall - and are recommended for approval by councillors.
Preston architects Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) are behind the design of the new building, and project architect Richard McGonigal, said: “Our aim is to build on the reputation of The Villa as one of the best country house hotels in the North West with a level of service, food and comfort to rival anyone.
“We have designed the function rooms in a modern style, which will also be highly suitable for conferences and meetings, adding to The Villa’s attractive offering.
“They will also be very much in keeping with the Villa’s traditional image.”