Close ties to village
If the ambitious scheme gets the go-ahead, it will be like a homecoming for hotelier Robin Hutson and his wife Judy.
They already have close ties to Bridge because Judy grew up in the village and is an ex-simon Langton girl.
The couple’s wedding was blessed 34 years ago in the church in the shadow of Bridge Place and her parents are buried in the cemetery.
They now live in Winchester but say they are looking forward to creating a new future for the magnificent mansion in the style of the other historic country properties they have transformed into successful hotels.
Robin, 60, said: “For the project to work and be viable as a hotel business, we need the extra bedrooms and the purchase of the building is conditional on getting planning permission.
“A huge amount of preplanning and discussions with organisations like Historic England has already taken place, which I hope will satisfy the listed building authorities.
“In particular, we believe demolishing the existing single-storey extension, built in the 60s and not very sympathetic to the building, and replacing it, will enhance the house.”
Robin and Judy, 64, do all their own interior design work, “down to the last stick of furniture”.
“Judy is keen to work on this one, perhaps more than any other property we have done, because Bridge is personal to her,” Robin said.
“Peter is a lovely character and has already done some very good work and really taken care of the place using the best artisans. But if we get permission, I guess it will take about a year to get the house how we want it.”