Tory donor's unauthorised hotel extension approved

Councillors have decided a five-star hotel where an extension was built without permission can be approved.

Runnymede's planning committee agreed to grant planning consent for Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel to remain as it is, subject to conditions.

The Egham hotel's owner, Arora Group, had offered to tear down a derelict mansion on the nearby Parkwood Estate to compensate for the space taken up by the extension.

Arora Group is owned by businessman and Conservative Party donor Surinder Arora.

Council 'disappointed'

The 249-bed, 5* hotel is to the east of Windsor Great Park and in the green belt.

In a statement issued after Wednesday's planning meeting, the council said: "Having considered the application on its individual planning merits the planning committee tonight resolved to grant planning permission for the retention of the Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel as built.

"This is dependent on the demolition of the Parkwood buildings and the giving up of permission which will be secured by a legal agreement. Only once this demolition has occurred, and the requirements of the legal agreement and conditions complied with, will the enforcement matter be fully resolved."

The statement continued: "It was concluded that the benefits put forward as part of the scheme, including the demolition of the Parkwood Mansion house, and the giving up of associated planning permissions, clearly outweighed any harm to the green belt by the unauthorised extensions to the hotel."

However, the council added: "Whilst this matter is moving towards a satisfactory planning resolution, we are disappointed that these works were undertaken on the site without planning permission in the first place."

An Arora Group spokesperson previously said it wanted to resolve the situation "while maintaining operations at the world-class hotel we have built and which provides employment and wider economic benefits to the area".

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