A master plan has been unveiled to add a spa, restaurant and sports areas to a luxury holiday village in Dorset. The Silverlake luxury holiday home site on the outskirts of Crossways near Dorchester, which was previously Warmwell Quarry, has been redeveloped into a luxury, eco-friendly site since its takeover by The Habitat First Group in 2011.
Habitat First group has submitted a reserved application to Dorset Council to create a spa with a restaurant, outdoor space, bin stores, factory and ancillary buildings, communal areas, landscaping, parking and the associated infrastructure. Known as Dorset Spa, it is proposed to be built around Lake 5, which is located at the center of the development, west of the five licensed villages and south of Knighton Heath Forest and the Biodiverse Heart.
The design and access statement outlines how the owners want to create an “open and welcoming” spa and restaurant and “provide a community center for the development as a whole”, as well as “provide economically sustainable development”. Sketches show that the restaurant will take advantage of a lake view with up to 90 seats inside and 80 seats outside, and further seating inside the bar.
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The developers say the spa, which will contain two pools, a sauna and a steam room, is articulated to capture southern views and daylight and could accommodate 73 people in its indoor pool, 46 in its outdoor pool, 16 people in its hammam. Plans also show that its outdoor spa will contain a large thermal area with hot hubs, thermal cabins, relaxation decks and a floating fire pit, as well as a treatment area and event space.
A hydrotherapy activity hub, which offers water sports, has been offered, alongside lakeside treatments and cabins, a welcome hub and open-air spa cabins. Due to the expansion of the site, Habitat First Group believes the new site will create at least 66 new jobs with a mix of management, therapist, chef and staff roles available, and additional scope for more staff during high season.
Computer-generated sketches show that the proposed buildings will be ‘sustainable’ and ‘create a positive impact on the wider community and respect and harmonize with nature’. Natural materials, sourced locally, will be used to create buildings in line with the location, with a margin of greenery on the buildings.
A number of pathways and access points for cyclists and shuttles will also be created to connect the new development to the wider site. A new car park aims to provide 180 parking spaces for guests and visitors.
The design and statement read: “Habitat First Group creates communities of private vacation homes that share a love for mother nature. By combining excellence in architecture, interior design, amenities, security and service, vacationers can escape the rigors of city life. Habitat First provides an oasis of space where families can comfortably and responsibly vacation, explore and recharge safely in acres and acres of natural habitat.
The existing site was previously a 227-hectare quarry, and before that a World War II air base. Prior to this planning application, the last phase to gain approval included a “flagship” four-bed house, numerous properties as well as outbuildings, a gym, a communal jetty on the lake and private jetties for several of the houses.
Comments are welcome on the application on Dorset Council’s planning section of its website until 21 May, with application reference number P/RES/2022/02437.
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