PLANS to replace a historic Hampshire hotel with more than 70 homes have finally been submitted - a year after the original proposals were unveiled.

The Hoburne Group is seeking consent to demolish most of the derelict Lyndhurst Park Hotel, which closed in 2014 with the loss of 20 jobs.

Hoburne wants to build 79 apartments and three commercial units on the site.

But the company is planning to retain the hotel's historic facade, which was remodelled by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and will be converted into seven of the homes.

Conan Doyle, creator of the famous Sherlock Holmes, lived in nearby Brook and was a frequent visitor to Lyndhurst.

Hoburne's original proposal to build 77 homes, eight holiday apartments and five shops on the site was due to have been submitted last spring, but the move was delayed by the start of the Covid crisis.

A revised scheme has now been submitted to the New Forest National Park Authority (NPA).

A design and access statement that forms part of the application says: "The proposals would make more efficient use of urban, brownfield land.

"The dwellings would provide a range of modern, fit-for-purpose accommodation.

"The historic elements of the former hotel would be retained and reinstated to their former glory, leading to considerable enhancements to the site."

Originally a country mansion known as Glasshayes House, the landmark hotel dominates the eastern entrance to Lyndhurst.

The statement says the "design, scale and high-quality finish" of the proposed development are appropriate to the site, which it describes as the gateway to the village.

NPA planning officers have already received several letters praising Hoburne's application to transform the site.

One person said: "The hotel has been an eyesore for far too long - this is the first thing you see when you enter the village. Transforming it into commercial units and private dwellings is a

great idea."

Another added: "Much improvement over the derelict 'Welcome to Lyndhurst feature' currently on show in an ever-worsening condition."

A woman living in nearby Gosport Lane said: "Will be nice to see the eyesore transformed into something attractive."

The site had a troubled planning history before being bought by Hoburne.

An application by PegasusLife to replace the hotel with 74 sheltered apartments and a dozen holiday homes was rejected by the NPA.

A subsequent proposal for 75 flats and 15 affordable homes was also turned down after sparking 800 objections.