Green light for Longleat hotel plans

Wiltshire Council has approved Longleat’s plans to build a 240-room hotel, with water park and business conference facilities.

The attraction hopes the development will create 300 new jobs, while providing “much-needed additional family-orientated hotel accommodation in the area”.

Bob Montgomery, chief executive of Longleat Enterprises Limited – which manages the commercial development of the estate assets – said: “The decision to approve our application is a huge boost to Longleat’s long-term future, for Wiltshire and our local town and village communities.

“We’ve still a little way to go and are working to secure Highway England’s final view on the impact of our proposals to the strategic road network in the area, but are confident this will be concluded soon.

“We believe the hotel will enable Longleat to develop and grow over the coming years and will provide a new tourism hub for the area which will create many more jobs and attract new investment.”

More than 40% of Longleat’s one million annual visitors drive for more than two hours to see its attractions, including the safari park.

The proposed hotel will also offer business conference facilities for up to 200 delegates.

Pictured is an artist’s impression of the planned property.

• A rare baby giant anteater has been born at Longleat as part of a captive-breeding programme for the South American mammal.

Nicknamed ‘Bubbles’, he is the fourth giant anteater to be born at Longleat.

The species is officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.