Following complaints from residents around the Fairmont Windsor Park Hotel, located on the edge of Windsor Great Park, the Runnymede Borough Council found that the establishment is in breach of the planning permissions it was granted and needs to be partially or entirely demolished.
“Runnymede Borough Council responded to an enforcement investigation request made on February 21 2023 that claimed that the Fairmont Hotel Windsor Park had been built incorrectly, with significant additions to the rear of the building meaning it was larger than the approved plans”, the council said in a statement.
The investigation was prompted by a report form a local residents’ association, which proposed the building is about 2.5 metres taller than the approved plans foresee, while “a number of large additions”, including a complete wing and two expansions, were also unauthorised.
“Following an enforcement investigation, a Planning Enforcement Notice was issued on July 7 2023 which requires the hotel to either be returned to the approved plans, or demolished”, the council explained, adding that it was “disappointed that these works were undertaken on the site without planning permission”.
We remain extremely proud of [the hotel] but also accept the need to remedy our mistakes.Surinder Arora, Arora Group Founder and Chairman
The hotel is part of the Arora Group, founded by billionaire Surinder Arora, who said he is “truly sorry” for the unauthorised construction and is working with the council and other local authorities to “find mutually acceptable solutions”. “The hotel is a fantastic property which we want to ensure it continues serving the local area and bringing significant economic benefits to Runnymede”, Arora added.
Arora can appeal the decision until October and although the council concluded the unplanned expansions had a “harmful effect on the green belt”, it also mentioned it would also consider a retrospective planning application, according to the Independent. Additionally, five nearby luxury treehouses could need to be demolished, as they were also built after having had planning permissions denied.
The establishment frequently hosts events and political figures, most recently being entirely booked by the UK’s Tory party for lectures, drinks receptions and a dinner with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Previously, in February 2023, the hotel made the news for hosting Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for signing the Windsor Framework for Northern Ireland, more commonly known as the Brexit deal.
Surrounded by about 16 hectares of green space, the Fairmont Windsor Park boasts an award-winning luxury spa and wellness centre, seven restaurants and bars, 15 meeting rooms and a ballroom that can accommodate up to 700 guests.