RESIDENTS living near a county hotel say they are not against a proposed gym and leisure centre being built on-site, but think it should be built on a different part of the land.

Joanna Brickell, who lives near Stanbrook Abbey Hotel in Callow End, said the proposed location of the building would affect the nearby birds and bats, as well as the plantlife.

She said: “There are 26 acres within the Abbey Enclosure where the development could be built.

“Former hotel managers said that the development would be in the old disused wing and stable block of the Abbey.

“This has changed. The new plan is to build on the green lawns and established trees of The Meadow, along the southern boundary.

“This is a monitored foraging area with 30,000 bat flight lines recorded. Bats are protected by law, and this habitat would be concreted over.”

Mrs Brickell runs the St Benets site nearby, which hosts regular fundraising events for local charities.

If the proposed development goes ahead, she said this would affect whether these events could be held in future.

She added: “The large two story concrete building with metallic cladding, would have treatment rooms, a large swimming pool and first floor cafe with surrounding balcony and jacuzzi, all with floor to ceiling windows opening on to and overlooking the countryside.

“Noise and light volume from the building, large carpark, new access road and car headlights, would have an effect on wildlife, especially the bat population.

“It would affect concerts and fundraising events given on St. Benets’ land to raise funds for local charities.”

At an extraordinary meeting of Powick Parish Council last week, councillors voted not to object to the plans, saying it would bring employment and trade to the village.

Planning agent Mark Batley said the hotel chain, which runs a number of historic properties across the country, had been working with local planners for over a year to make sure the building was appropriate.

He said: “I fully understand Mrs Brickell’s concerns and give her assurances there will be no noise. With having a modern building, the upper floors are all treatment rooms, which are quiet places.”

The application can be viewed in full on