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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

New bid to turn former Talkin Tarn hotel into homes

A fresh bid has been tabled to turn the old Tarn End House Hotel at Talkin Tarn Country Park, near Brampton, into private apartments.

Tarn End photo
Tarn End House

Citadel Estates was knocked back last year when it applied to extend and convert the 19th-century sandstone building to create 15 homes.

Tarn End House already has planning consent for conversion into eight holiday flats.

Now Citadel, a company owned by property developer Dean Montgomery, has asked for the removal of conditions that require the flats to be holiday lets so allowing them to be used as permanent homes.

Mr Montgomery said: “This is not a new planning application. We are simply removing conditions on the consent.

“This will allow this iconic local landmark to be restored to its previous glory.”

Three of the apartments would have views across the tarn, a beauty spot that attracts thousands of visitors.

Citadel paid £450,000 to buy Tarn End House from Cumbria County Council last year.

Its first proposal to extend the building was controversial.

It attracted 150 objections, and was turned down by city councillors last October. The new scheme would convert only the existing buildings.

Citadel’s planning application argues that the only viable use for Tarn End House is as private apartments.

It has offered the building for sale for six months through Carlisle property consultants Hyde Harrington.

The sales literature suggested that it might operate as a hotel and restaurant.

But although there were 25 enquiries, there was only one offer – rejected by Citadel Estates – from a couple in Essex who wanted to use it as a permanent residence.

Carlisle City Council’s planning policies do not normally allow homes to be built in open countryside.

But Citadel argues that the council can make an exception to preserve a building “of sufficient historic or architectural interest” or one that makes “a contribution to local character”.

This is especially true if alternative uses for the building are not viable.

The planning application quotes from an English Heritage report, which says that – although Tarn End House is not worth listing – it is “not without merit”.

The report adds: “Its local significance is clear enough.

“It remains a landmark building within the local area and has close association with a cherished natural beauty spot, now a country park.”

Tarn End House is currently empty. Windows are boarded up while plastic sheets keep the roof water tight.

By taking off the roof last summer, Citadel Estates technically started the conversion into holiday flats and so prevented the planning consent, granted in 2006, from lapsing.

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