Island tearoom will retain best features of old pool

THE last stages of a scheme to regenerate a closed-down Victorian swimming baths in Weston have moved a step forward this month.

A planning application has been submitted to North Somerset Council for a tearoom and three office suites in the old bathhouse on Knightstone Island.

The work would mark the final phase of the regeneration of the up-market island, which now has 87 apartments and several businesses operating on the site.

In plans unveiled last week, applicant Mr Judd said the tearoom and offices would retain much of the building’s architectural elements, including the entrance.

Agents Graham Moir Associates said: “The design philosophy is to reuse the beautiful main front entrance way and reopen the archway at the back of the entrance hall.

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“This would enable three office suites to be created in the main building, leaving the old slipper baths for a Victorian tearoom, access via double doors at the East End.

“All works will follow existing design to create refurbished 19th Century office suites.”

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In September 1830, Dr Edward Fox purchased the island and built a house, theatre and swimming baths as part of a treatment home for the ‘mentally insane’.

In 2005, developer Redrow converted much of the site into apartments, selling off one-bed flats for up to �410,000.

The freehold reversion to the buildings now lies in the hands of island residents, who created Knightstone Island Limited to manage the site.

Members began negotiations with Mr Judd about the proposal to open a tea house and offices or apartments in the old bathhouse earlier this year.

The public can access the island by the causeway and walk around the development, but are permitted from accessing the residential area.

North Somerset Council expects to make a decision on the planning application by January, with a planned opening date for the tearoom already targeted for March.

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