Lodge idea gets the backing of planners

Londesborough Lodge.Ani Tselha, looking forward to the future.Picture Richard Ponter 140801c
Londesborough Lodge.Ani Tselha, looking forward to the future.Picture Richard Ponter 140801c

Plans to open Londesborough Lodge as into a wellbeing centre have moved closer to completion after Scarborough Borough Council planning offices recommended the scheme for approval.

Ani Tselha, of the Rokpa Trust, is behind the application, which is due to be voted on by the council’s planning committee on Thursday

The report that will be considered by the committee states that: “The proposed use will help secure a beneficial use for this grade II listed building which an important feature within the Scarborough Conservation Area and adjacent to a Registered Park or Garden.”

It recommends giving planning permission and listed building consent, providing a number of conditions are satisfied.

Should the councillors go with their officer’s recommendation that it will signal the start of the first phase of work at the historic lodge, which will involve opening a meditation room, three residential rooms and a tea room with patio doors onto the garden within seven to 12 months.

Ani told the Scarborough News when the application was submitted: “It’s all moving ahead now which is really exciting. It’s such a perfect location for a health and wellbeing centre.

“It’s a place where anyone can come and have a cup of tea, sit and read a book, and find their own peace.

“We want to make it clear that you don’t need to be a Buddhist to come here - it will be a place for the whole community.”

The centre will feature numerous different facilities including a tea room, cafe and training room, areas for meditation, therapy, yoga and martial arts.

There will also be residential rooms, both for people who are visiting the centre as part of a retreat and for longer-term residents who wish to live as part of a community.

The building was transferred to the Rokpa Trust last year by Scarborough Council under the community asset transfer programme.

The programme gives community groups chance to take unused or empty buildings on a long-term lease and transform them into something of benefit for the community.

The project is set to cost around £500,000 and is funded by the Rokpa Trust, through donations and fundraising.