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Carmody Groarke bags approval for contest-winning Burgh Island scheme

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Carmody Groarke has narrowly won planning permission for a standalone hotel suite on Burgh Island near Bigbury-on-Sea in South Devon 

Councillors on South Hams District Council’s development committee voted four to three in favour of the proposed new suite on a dramatic headland near the island’s existing Grade II-listed Art Deco hotel.

The London practice – working with Price & Myers – landed the job following an RIBA-organised contest in early 2016, defeating a shortlist which included dRMM, Threefold Architects and Featherstone Young Architects.

Burgh Island Hotel was built in the 1929 on a private tidal island and became a popular retreat for writers Agatha Christie, Noel Coward and other pre-war celebrities. The 10.5ha island is accessible twice a day when the tides allow visitors to reach the mainland via the hotel’s sea tractor.

Over the past 16 years the hotel has been extensively restored by owners Tony Orchard and Deborah Clark. However, rather than extend the existing landmark, the practice plans to construct the new building on a remote, easterly promontory overlooking the Bantham Estuary and the hotel’s seawater pool

According to Carmody Groarke, this standalone suite has been conceived as an ‘inhabited bridge, consolidating the sculptural profile of the eroded mud-stone sea-cliffs’ and will feature a ’series of interconnected rooms organised to frame unique views of the dramatic sea and island landscape’.

Studio co-founder Andy Groarke said: ‘We are delighted to have achieved planning for this very special project, which will be now realised as an important part of the client’s vision for the environmental, cultural, and economic livelihood of this unique place.’

Construction is set to begin later this year.

Burgh Island

Burgh Island

Source: Image by Roger Knowles

The Mermaid Pool

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