A Grade II-listed Victorian house, which served as a school for almost 100 years, could become a luxury, boutique hotel and spa under plans submitted to Buckinghamshire Council.

The vacant Rayners House in Penn, built in 1847, had been the Penn School from 1920 to 2015 but now a scheme, planned and submitted by Lichfields, on behalf of Rayners Estate, proposes a radical restoration and redevelopment of the 7.7-hectare site.

Under the proposals, the house will be restored and converted into uses including hotel rooms while a conservatory and lounge will become meeting and function space.

A lower ground floor is to be excavated next to the house to accommodate a further meeting and function room, cinema and wine room.

A private dining tower and roof terrace is proposed and some former stables will be turned into a bistro.

Some 1960s-built classrooms on the grounds will be demolished and replaced with a fine dining restaurant and cookery school.

The wellness spa will be a single-storey addition with basement. It will have four bedroom suites, a mindfulness studio, swimming pool, co-ed thermal suite, wet relaxation and Finnish sauna at ground floor level while the basement will have nine single treatment rooms, one VIP double treatment suite, a post treatment relaxation lounge, gym and plant rooms. There will be further suites built in the garden, orangery and one in the gardeners’ bothy.

The spa will be connected to the main service bay to Rayners House by a tunnel.

A former waterworks will be redeveloped to provide three suites with a common lounge dining hall. Other restoration aspects of the scheme include bringing a boating lake back into use and restoring a former lodge as a gatehouse.

Across the site a total of 33 bedrooms will be provided and there will be 152 parking spaces across four parking areas.

Extensive landscaping will be carried out including the creation of a sunken garden and the scheme will be known as Rayners Penn.

Sarah Moorhouse, associate director for Lichfields, said: “Lichfields is delighted be part of such an exciting project that will transform the former Penn School into a prestigious luxury hotel.

“The proposals will ensure the restoration and refurbishment of the Grade II-listed buildings on the site as well as achieving high sustainability standards, creating new job opportunities and contributing to the local and regional visitor economy.”

Jeremy Blake Architects has drawn up the plans and more information is available at the scheme’s dedicated website.

The application can be seen at https://publicaccess.wycombe.gov.uk/idoxpa-web/applicationDetails.do?keyVal=S3GE3SSCLIO00&activeTab=summary

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