Worms Head Hotel in Rhossili has the location to die for but, most would argue, not the building to match.
But that is set to change after Swansea Council granted planning permission for new extensions and other remodelling that will increase the number of guest rooms, create a new outdoor seating area and improve the overall look of the cliff-top venue.
Design statement submitted on behalf of hotel owners Julian and Adrian Short conceded that the building had “unusual, inconsistent and ugly” architecture.
The revised scheme approved by council planning officers will result in 21 guest bedrooms for the Worms Head Hotel — up from the current 17 — a new side extension facing Worm’s Head, extensions to the courtyard buildings, a rear extension to create space for a function room, and new solar panels on the south-west facing roof.
Visitors will see gabled dormers, new links between the various parts of the hotel, and a raised outdoor seating area.
Planning officers said in their report: “It is considered that the revised scheme is a significant improvement on the initial proposals submitted for this building, and will result in a form which appears as a series of connected rural/farm buildings which have a coherent and unified character.
“The current proposals are therefore considered acceptable to provide an updated and improved appearance to this well-known and highly prominent building in one of the most iconic locations in Wales.”
City planning officers said that although the new Worms Head Hotel roof would be two metres higher than currently, it would be set further away from the neighbouring house than now, therefore reducing overshadowing impacts.
Rhossili Community Council raised various points in a submission to the authority, including concerns about the changed roof line and access during any construction work due to the constricted nature of the site.
“Tourism is the most important area of economic activity in Wales, and for the last 10 years the tourism industry has been concerned at the lack of quality hotel accommodation in the region,” he said.