Spa could be turned into extra rooms for thriving pub/hotel

Spa-ing partner for pub

Royal Standard (left) and one of its letting rooms (centre) could expand. It wants to take over the former spa opposite (right) and convert first and second floors to luxury bedrooms. - Credit: Archant

A thriving Ely pub/hotel hopes to acquire a former Spa opposite to add more letting rooms.  

Red Rock Grill – who run the Royal Standard- want to convert the first and second floors of Ely Spa at 35 Forehill to expand their hotel offering.  

The new owners invited East Cambridgeshire District Council to adopt national guidelines.  

They quote a policy which says councils “should approach decision taking in a positive way to foster the delivery of sustainable development”. 

And that means “working proactively with applicants, looking for solutions rather than problems”. 

Red Rock says: "The proposed alterations are consistent with the changing history of the house and with buildings on Forehill in general. 

“Recent events have made the current use of the building no longer viable. 

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“The mixed-use nature of the whole group of buildings means that a new use needs to be carefully considered.  

“The need for overnight tourist accommodation is undeniable.” 

The Royal Standard has five letting bedrooms “and cannot accommodate the demand.  

“The proposal is to operate 35 Forehill as a sister business with the Royal Standard”. 

Work on the listed property at 35 Forehill would include removal of partitions between treatment rooms to provide letting rooms. 

No works are proposed to the existing staircase “which is fine example of its type”. 

And there will be no change to the ground floor, which mostly recently housed a café. 

Red Rock says 35 Forehill is an attractive and interesting Grade II building with a varied history.  

Between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries its uses have included a shop with accommodation over, a Conservative club, a recording studio, an architects’ office, a Spa and a cafe.  

“The interior of the building bears the marks of the changes with the front part of the building having been altered the most and so retains the fewest original features,” it says. 

“A minimum of physical intervention is needed in order to create suitable letting bedrooms from the treatment rooms.  

“All existing windows and doors will be retained, unaltered.” 

“In principle, the aims of this application are simple: they are to give a new direction to a listed building whose current use has been made unviable due to the current global pandemic.”