Newbury will see its first Premier Inn hotel after district councillors approved plans for the development at a council meeting held last night (Wednesday).
The UK’s largest budget hotelier's initial plans to build a 110-bed hotel near BST Fitness and the existing Travelodge were thrown out by councillors in September owing to its impact on local amenity.
At the time developers were told to go back and come up with an improved plan for the development.
The proposal was subsequently revised down to 100 beds with a combination of three and five storeys, but at a recent Newbury Town Council meeting planners warned the development would put further strain on Newbury’s traffic network with no customer car parking spaces promised.
Speaking at last night’s Western Area Planning meeting Jeff Beck (Con, Clay Hill) said: “I have visited this site several times and I am familiar with the site. The impact on the local residents has been brushed aside.
“The situation is that the Parkway car park is already at times full. Please don’t go away with the idea that parking isn’t a problem. It will be a problem.
“I am not against the principle of the hotel but what I am concerned about is that the building is on the premier road to the town centre and I think it’s built in the Russian ideology from the 1970s.”
Paul Bryant (Con, Speen) agreed: “I wouldn’t say it’s a beautiful structure but it is better than the car park and the cinema.”
Despite concerns Anthony Pick (Con, St Johns) proposed a motion to support the application and said: “We all know that Newbury has got problems retaining businesses.
“Newbury is I believe short of commercial space and I offer support on these grounds.”
Councillors ultimately voted by a majority to approve the development.
For a full round-up of the meeting pick up a copy of next week’s Newbury Weekly News.