Raymond Blanc Great Milton hotel's expansion gets go-ahead

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Raymond BlancImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Raymond Blanc has run a business from the site in Great Milton since 1984

An expansion of the hotel and restaurant owned by celebrity chef Raymond Blanc has been given the go-ahead despite fears it could create a "village within a village".

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, will build a new spa, bistro and garden villas.

Mr Blanc has run it, including its 15th Century manor house, since 1984.

He said the approval will mean it can continue to offer a "unique and world-class experience".

The restaurant was awarded two Michelin stars on opening and has retained them ever since.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The parish council's chairman said Raymond Blanc's restaurant had been "nothing but beneficial" for Great Milton

As part of the plan, other garden rooms and pavilions will also be built. The complex could eventually employ 259 staff, up from a current 176.

Stephen Harrod, Great Milton Parish Council's chairman, said Mr Blanc's business has been "nothing but beneficial" for the village.

He said a "silent majority" either approved of the plans or were "not concerned" by them.

But fellow villager Emma Treanor told South Oxfordshire District Council's planning committee the project risked creating a "large resort-style village within a village".

She said it would "erode" the sustainable foundations on which Mr Blanc's business was originally created and cause more traffic on "clogged" roads nearby.

The planning permission granted could still be called in by the levelling up secretary, Michael Gove.

Five councillors approved planning permission and four opposed it. One councillor abstained.

Another plan for other internal works in listed buildings on the site was approved by councillors unanimously.

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