Coldeast Mansion: Restaurant, hotel and wedding venue plan for historic building

COUNCILLORS are set to decide whether an historic mansion that is undergoing a multimillion pound restoration is granted an alcohol licence.

Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Friday, 24th September 2021, 4:09 pm
Coldeast Mansion in Sarisbury Green

Business partners Jason Parker and Daniel Byrne took over Coldeast Mansion in Coldeast Drive, Sarisbury Green this summer.

The mansion was bought by Fern Property Ltd, a local privately owned company, from a guide price of £3.5m after it had run into financial trouble under the previous owners and went into administration.

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The couple have already spent £2m doing up the property – including installing a £200,000 kitchen – and they plan to turn the venue into a stylish restaurant, hotel and wedding venue.

They plan to open on October 6, however an application for an alcohol licence has attracted 20 objections from local residents, who are concerned about the noise.

Jason said: ‘As would be expected with a plan of this scale, there are some people who are nervous of change, but this is a wonderful old building that has been sat empty.

‘I don’t think anybody would expect a building like this to be empty forever.

‘The plan is for a bar, restaurant and hotel and there are some neighbours who are worried about noise.’

Jason said he has brought in specialists to measure the impact of the proposed noise, and that he was confident that it would not adversely affect any of the neighbours.

He also said he was keen to be part of the community – and that the business had already created 40 jobs – and to see the former mansion house, which has its origins in the early 19th century, brought back to life.

Jason and his wife Soraya have run Becketts in Southsea, taking over the restaurant five years ago, and then buying the run-down building next door, before converting that into rooms and creating a stylish hotel.

He said: ‘We have run Becketts for five years without a single noise complaint, we are geared up for families and that is the kind of friendly environment we want to create. Of course we will be holding weddings in such a wonderful venue, but we will be considerate and we have taken advice from a specialist.’

The restaurant will have three rooms inside seating 64 covers, with room for up to 120 covers outdoors, a bar and guest lounge plus events spaces and 32 rooms in its aparthotel.

It will serve food and beverages seven days per week to the hotel guests and to visitors.

It hopes to secure a licence to play live music from 11am until midnight, with outside music stopping at 11pm, recorded music from 8am until midnight Monday to Thursday, and until 1am Friday to Saturday.

It also hopes to be able to serve alcohol from 9am until midnight Sunday to Thursday, until 1am Friday to Saturday.

Councillors at Fareham Borough Council’s licensing committee will decide on the application on Tuesday at 10am.

The history of Coldeast Mansion

- Originally a farm selling horses, Coldeast was shown on maps from 1837.

- The land was registered in the 1851 census as being owned by Arthur Hornby with three staff living there.

- When his relative William Hornby of Hook House died in 1869, he sold Coldeast and moved to Hook.

- It was bought by Nathaniel and Emma Montefiore, who made the house more formal, landscaping the grounds.

- In 1924, it was sold to Hampshire County Council to be used as a hospital for patients with learning difficulties and mental disabilities.

- During the Second World War, part of the site was occupied by an emergency hospital and allotments.

- In 1964 parts of the estate were sold off for housing.

- The complex was left empty in 1996 and began to decay.

- The building’s fate hung in the balance in 2013 when developer Sanguine Hospitality pulled out of a deal to restore it, prompting the Homes & Communities Agency to make it watertight while new developers were sought.

- Developer Nick Sutton bought the building in 2014 and set about restoring it and turning it into a venue.

- Coldeast Mansion Ltd went into administration at the end of October 2019.

- It was taken over in March 2020 and was poised to be relaunched as The Mansion however the pandemic hit and the idea never really got going before they folded in December.

- The mansion was bought by Fern Property Ltd, a local privately owned company, off a guide price of £3.5m in July 2021.