A PROPOSAL to turn a market town hotel into a single residence could see the loss of seven letting bedrooms if a planning application is successful.

Geoff and Suzanne Thomas have been proprietors of the Montalbo Hotel, which has a public bar, in Barnard Castle for nearly six years. But with four children, the youngest just 12 weeks, Mrs Thomas is hoping to spend some time as a full time mother while her husband promotes and expands his career as an LTA tennis coach.

The couple, who have sold the property subject to contract and receiving de-licensing, have applied for a change of use for the premises and overcame the first hurdle when town councillors raised no objection to the plans at their meeting on Monday.

Coun John Yarker declared an interest in the application and took no part in the debate.

The application will now go forward to be determined by Teesdale District Council.

Other applications recommended for approval include the re-building of a semi-detached garage at 26 Cecil Road; alterations to existing stores to provide an extended utility room and conservatory at 14 Montalbo Road; listed building consent for the erection of a satellite dish at 13 Newgate and a rear extension to provide two additional bedrooms at 11A Vere Road.

A retrospective application to allow a shed on land between 9 Mayfield and 21 Vere Road was also recommended for approval. Coun Newton Wood declared an interest and took no part in the debate.