Published: March 22, 2009
Exclusive: Multi-million pound expansion of Rookery Manor put on hold

A multi-million pound expansion project at an events venue near Burnham-On-Sea has been put on hold due to a planning wrangle. first reported earlier this month how Rookery Manor had unveiled plans for a new £6m health centre, plus other facilities at its centre near Rooksbridge.

The new facilities were to include six saunas and steam rooms, a small swimming pool, hydro pools, treatment rooms plus an extra 46 hotel bedrooms.

However, the plans have been partly rejected by Sedegemoor District Council amid concerns over the proposed "over-development" of the site.

District Council spokesman Chris Gomm told "There were a number of elements to this application that we have consdered, some of which are acceptable and some which are not. We advised the applicant's agents of this and they decided to withdraw the plans."

"We have no issue with the retrospective permission covering existing parts of the site, but the proposed development of a new health spa is not suitable on this scale in a country setting."

"We also have concerns about the substantial earthworks and removal of trees being proposed to shield noise from the nearby M5 motorway."

Rookery Manor owner Ian Clapp told "I'm very disappointed and actually quite gobsmacked by this decision. The plans would have created up to 80 new local jobs and been a positive contribution to the area."

Mr Clapp says he is now considering his next steps. Rookery Manor currently employs 80 full-time and 200 part-time staff and had hoped to double its full-time workforce.


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