The owners of a popular Faversham restaurant in a Georgian mansion are planning to increase the number of hotel rooms available at their historic site.
Read’s in Canterbury Road has been in business since the turn of the millennium, and those who run the award-winning venue have long had a vision to open more rooms.
Many town planning applications have been successful over the years, but the authorization has always expired because the construction work has not started.
Now Read’s – which has already been voted one of the UK’s 100 best restaurants – has once again submitted a bid to expand its hotel offering.
The proposals are for 17 new rooms spread over a courtyard, a converted stable and former tennis courts.
Eight additional parking spaces are to be created as a result of the development, and a new full-time staff member and a part-time worker will be hired.
The plans were last approved in 2018 by Swale Borough Council, but that permission has now lapsed and owners need to regain the green light.
Read’s currently has six ‘deluxe’ hotel rooms, with overnight stays ranging from £160 to £280.
The restaurant, which opened near Painters Forstal in 1976 before moving to Canterbury Road, held a Michelin star for 20 years.
But he lost the prized distinction nine years ago. It has, however, gone on to win numerous accolades, including 35th place in Squaremeal’s Top 100 UK Restaurants.
The site – located in the Grade II listed Macknade mansion – is run by husband and wife team David and Rona Pitchford.
The couple are behind the latest request for additional rooms and have filed the plans with the borough council.
In granting permission for the exact scheme three years ago, Swale Council viewed favorably the offer to make a ‘positive contribution to the rural economy’.
A report read: “The application site is outside the built-up area boundary, where development is normally resisted.
“However, the existing restaurant is making a positive contribution to the rural economy and therefore the bid should demonstrate the same, without affecting the look and character of the countryside.
“Existing uses make little positive contribution to the setting of the building, and the conversion of outbuildings will ensure that the character of the site is not significantly altered.”
Read has been contacted to comment on the latest scheduling request.