Cliffemount Hotel, Runswick Bay, bid to be UK’s first Passivhaus hotel

As The Press reported a year ago, new owners took on the popular hilltop Cliffemount Hotel in Runswick Bay near Whitby with a view to rebuilding the business into a 20-bed hotel, restaurant and bar.

Karen Fojt and her family, have begun a significant investment programme, including a complete remodelling both inside and out.

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And now they are seeking planning permission to rebuild the hotel into the UK’s first-ever Passivhaus hotel, with sustainability at the forefront of its design.

Karen said: “My family and I are grateful to have spent many wonderful years holidaying in Runswick Bay and when this opportunity came up it was the perfect chance to invest back into the community and the local area.

“We’re extremely excited to start work on Cliffemount with an expected opening of Spring 2024.

“We will endeavour to keep the community up to date with milestone developments.”

York Press: The beach at Runswick BayThe beach at Runswick Bay (Image: Supplied)

A Passivhaus building adheres to stringent energy efficiency standards while ensuring comfort, affordability, and ecological considerations.

The directors are keen to limit the impact they have on the environment and the local community alike, so adhering to Passivhaus standards would be just one of the ways that the community is put at the heart of what they’re doing.

In order to involve locals in the planning process, the planning team and directors recently organised a public consultation event. The event provided an opportunity for community members to view the proposals and share their feedback.

They were delighted with the turnout, as over 50 attendees participated.  Overall, they received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the hotel’s presence, the restaurant and pub, and the building’s design.

Richard Smith, Food and Beverage Consultant was pleased about the attendance of the event and said: “There’s a feeling of real excitement and positive anticipation from people about the development and project. Everyone loved the design and certainly felt it was in keeping with the area. There was also a sense of relief that the Hotel was to be brought back to its former glory, and were very happy that the owners are personally driving the project forward.” 

Melissa Tomlinson, one of Cliffemount’s directors is excited to get started on the project.

She said: “The public consultation was a fantastic event, allowing us to engage with members of the community and proudly present our vision and hotel designs.

“Gaining people’s feedback is absolutely key to the process, and hearing all the positive comments really does drive us forward towards our mission.”

Cliffemount has now begun the planning permission process with the aim of opening its doors in Spring 2025. 

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