PLANS have been submitted for a country inn to provide what has been described as a UK first in spa facilities.
Four new full time jobs and an unspecified number of part time opportunities could be made available if planning permission is given for the development at the Three Horseshoes at Blackshaw Moor.
A report submitted to planners at the Peak District National Park Authority said that the proposal would allow the property to be marketed nationally as a Spa Hotel.
In a design and access statement in support of the application it said: "The number and quality of services provided at the Three Horseshoes has grown steadily in recent years, but the recent decline in demand for bedrooms, meeting and conference room facilities arising from the recent Britannia Building Society and Coop merger and other Leek businesses have led to a fall in occupancy, turnover and employment.
"In addition the recent proposal by the Premier Lodge to develop the former Talbot Inn in Leek has caused the applicant to review its business plan."
The report adds that the purpose of the application is to provide an indoor and outdoor spa experience that will be unique and breathtakingly special for customers.
Stephen Kirk, whose family owned and run the business, told the Post & Times: "We are trying to make ourselves a destination hotel which will bring in more tourism to the Moorlands. This would be a UK first.
"Due to the loss of the Britannia business and the opening of the Premier Inn hotel in Leek we are going to improve the hotel and change our business plan."
The planning application proposes a single storey extension to the rear of the hotel to provide spa facilities for existing guests and additional development comprising the erection of a glass canopy over an existing external door and the construction of outdoor hot tubs to certain rooms.
The design and access statement adds: "The existing hotel is one of the premier locations for fine dining, conferences, weddings and good pub food. Recently it has grown to encompass a hotel wing accommodating wedding guests, tourists and conference delegates and the provision of a high quality wedding and reception venue.
"The proposal seeks to improve the quality of the hotel stay to maintain its market position in this highly competitive market. In addition, the proposal would provide additional employment in the local community.
“Benefits of the facilities include allowing the property to be marketed nationally as a Spa Hotel.
"When added to the boutique hotel and 2 AA rosette Brasserie, the proposal will increase the attractiveness of the hotel as a hotel destination and increase the distinctiveness between the Three Horseshoes and the proposed budget hotel proposed in Leek and increase accommodation sales especially during off-peak periods.
"The availability of a spa at the hotel has the potential to increase the length of stay thereby increasing on site sales of food and drinks and treatments and product sales and also increase the attractiveness of the hotel as wedding and business venues."