CONTROVERSIAL plans to erect a block of six new family suites and convert existing hotel rooms into larger family suites have been approved by the Lake District National Park Authority.

Numerous representations opposing the development at the White Lodge Hotel in Lake Road, Bowness, were submitted.

The design and access statement says the business has been 'forced to reconfigure its offering in order to match altering demand' as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.

"With an increasing number of domestic holidays, the business has found that a more luxury option for travellers is required," the statement says.

The proposals would see a new block of accommodation erected to the rear of the site, where the land slopes away from Lake Road.

The plans say the buildings 'will be limited in height to no more than two floors from [neighbouring] Bank Road.

Among those to submit representations opposing the development was Colin Bowe, who owns property in Bank Road, which runs in a semicircle behind the White Lodge Hotel.

Mr Bowe said the new block at the hotel would stop light from entering his properties.

"The rooms are already dark inside now and I often have to have the lights on through the day," he said.

"Anything that is built at White Lodge should not affect the perimeter of the boundary or the residents, which this will do."

Fraser Rankin, who also owns property in Bank Road, said in his representation: "Given that the site is located firmly in the conservation area for Bowness, this particular development would negatively impact the character and appearance of the immediate area.

"In addition, given the sheer scale of the proposed development and the location, it will impact both the light and views that the surrounding properties on Bank Road currently have."

Johnny Spencer objected to the development on the grounds of 'overdevelopment in a local housing area'.

"It is a commercial venture with no value to residents in close vicinity to the proposed site or further afield," he said.

The plans, which were submitted by Allan Livesey, whose address is listed as being the hotel, were approved by the national park authority, subject to a number of conditions.

Included in the list of conditions is the requirement that a 'scheme for the provision of facilities to enable the charging of electric vehicles to serve visitors and staff of the hotel shall be submitted to, and approved in writing by, the local planning authority'.

It is also stipulated that no development shall commence until details of surface water drainage have been submitted to and approved by the local planning authority. The details must include 'arrangements for ongoing maintenance of the drainage system over the lifetime of the development'.