PLANS to convert part of an award winning restaurant into a new home have been given the green light.

The scheme for the Lord Bute Hotel and Restaurant in Highcliffe has now been approved by BCP Council.

It means the east lodge building used as part of the restaurant’s kitchen can now be converted to a separate one bed residential dwelling.

A planning application sought listed building consent to complete internal and external alterations to enable the change of use.

This is set to include the blocking up of an internal doorway which currently connects the east lodge to the kitchen.

There are currently two grade II listed lodge buildings at the Lord Bute site known as the east and west lodges.

Both historically had residential uses, but after planning permission was gained for the construction of the hotel in 1997, the east lodge was linked to the hotel.

The west lodge remains in residential use.

In recommending the scheme for approval, a planning officer said bringing the east lodge back to its original residential use “is considered to be a heritage gain”.

They added it would “preserve and enhance the historic character and appearance of the listed building”.

It was also noted that the proposed change of use would only lead to the loss of a small area of floor space.

The officer said in their report: “The provision of a noise report with associated mitigation measures as recommended by BCP Environmental Health would ensure that the proposed residential use has an acceptable relationship with the existing restaurant on the site.”

They also recommended a number of conditions which require the submission and approval of various details relating to the internal and external alterations prior to first occupation of the home.

A spokesperson for the Lord Bute said the area of the kitchen earmarked for development has not had a 'commercial kitchen use' and has instead been used for storage. 

Located in Lymington Road, the Lord Bute restaurant has been in the hands of chef Bradley Green since September last year. 

It was named 'Best Luxury Restaurant in Dorset' in the LuxLife Food and Drink Awards 2024.