DOGMERSFIELD Park Ltd has won approval for all its hotel building, including the wings — but residents may appeal.

The firm can renovate and extend Dogmersfield House and plans to open in spring 2003 after Hart's development control committee voted eight to two in favour of four applications before it last week.

Villagers sent Hart 66 objections saying it would create traffic chaos and treble Dogmersfield's population.

After the meeting a group of residents vowed to send their arguments to the Environment Secretary asking for an inquiry.

Resident Mark Fullbrook said: "The decision is very disappointing, but we will not give up. We will send a letter to the Secretary of State."

Another, Sean Holden, added: "This is a sad day for the village.

"I believe we have been let down by councillors but we will continue to fight this and ask the Secretary of State to call this in for an inquiry.

"The 66 letters of objection represented over one-third of the community so I cannot understand why councillors voted in favour."

After the meeting DPL said it wanted to work with residents and parish councillors on six applications for leisure facilities on the 570-acre site, and would scrap those residents felt were too intensive.

Councillors felt traffic flow, parking requirements and occupancy would all be less than when the Grade I listed building was offices.

DPL wants to make it the hotel, and the Grade II listed stables a spa.

Director Michelle Brooks said afterwards: "We are delighted.

"There are a number of outstanding applications concerning the proposed leisure facilities in the Great Park that are to be heard within the coming months so we have taken on board residents' comments that although a country resort hotel surrounded by 570 acres of parkland should be able to provide leisure facilities for its guests, it was felt that our proposals were too intensive.

"Given that DPL is now part of the community for a minimum period of 40 years we value the objective concerns that were raised.

"We hope to work closely with representatives of local parish councils and various action groups to find a way forward that will be beneficial to all parties.

"We are already in the process of revising all of the applications, that we appreciate will include the withdrawal of certain applications in their entirety."

Dogmersfield councillor Brian Leversha said: "I could see no material reasons for turning the application down.

"There is a problem with traffic in the village and when Systems Union used the building to its maximum capacity as an office you could hardly move for cars.

"And a listed building has to be used for something."