A DECISION on plans to redevelop an historic hotel in Purbeck is set to be made early next year.

Details proposals have been submitted to Purbeck District Council for the Knoll House Hotel scheme.

The popular establishment in Studland has associations with children’s author Enid Blyton, and other notable guests of the hotel included Sir Winston Churchill, writer Roald Dahl and Hollywood icon Vivien Leigh.

After purchasing the site last summer, Kingfisher Resorts has provided detailed proposals for a new, five-star hotel featuring indoor and outdoor pools, spa treatment facilities, a fitness studio, fine dining restaurant, casual dining bistro, and function room.

Currently, the hotel has 106 bedrooms, as well as indoor and outdoor pools and a restaurant.

Kingfisher Resorts is proposing to partially demolish the main house building fronting Ferry Road to provide a 30-bed hotel.

There would also be 25 garden villas and three apartment blocks featuring rooms of various sizes.

A semi-formal garden area is proposed in between the garden villas, as well as hard landscaped areas for outside dining.

The hotel, which historically has not opened all year round, will change to a 12-month operation, in a bid to provide better opportunities for staff in terms of contacts.

Acting on behalf of Kingfisher Resorts, architecture firm Conran and Partners said the existing fabric of the hotel was “deteriorating and in need of major new investment”.

“However, it is proposed to consider the redevelopment of the site holistically, consolidating and retaining those elements of the existing structure, including the core of the main house, and replacing other elements which have been developed sporadically over the last 80 years.

“This proposal seeks to deliver a high-quality tourism development that will secure the role of Knoll House as an asset to the tourism offer in Dorset and the wider South West region.

“In essence it will provide a modern equivalent to the initial conception of Knoll House as a tourist destination when it first opened as such.”

A decision on the plans is due to be made by Purbeck District Council by February.

The hotel, a favourite of Enid Blyton, opened in 1931.

Blyton would often stay in the hotel for weeks at a time during the summer where she would write stories influenced by her own exploits, which would go on to form the basis for her Famous Five novels.