Local residents have been contacted over nine-storey building plans
The developer behing a controversial plan for a metal clad nine-storey hotel in Wimbledon town centre has defended their scheme in a letter to local residents.
Whitbread wants to build a 176-bed Premier Inn hotel at 153-161 The Broadway (see artists' impression on the top right).
They say it would create 50 new jobs and boost the local economy by bringing 80,000 new visitors a year to the town centre.
But plans for the metal clad building in the town centre have raised claims it would not fit in with the Victorian character of the area.
An original plan for a hotel on the site was for 149 rooms, and a 'Save Wimbledon Town' campaign group has also raised fears of increased traffic and noise, as well as potential anti-social behaviour.
The earlier plan, which gained approval on appeal, included 19 car parking places. But the new plan has only two bays for disabled parking.
The group organised two meetings to discuss the plans and local councillors from Trinity ward also held their own consultation meeting.
Now Whitbread Development Manager Owen Ellender has written to nearby residents. He stated: "Having bought the site from a previous developer, Whitbread has sought to bring forward a better quality proposal, more mindful of the character of The Broadway, and also careful to protect the amenity of neighbouring residents, especially those immediately behind the site on Griffiths Road.
“Our proposed Premier Inn will be reduced in height by a full storey compared to the planning permission for a 149-room hotel that already exists on the site. It has been designed to both complement and enhance the character of existing streetscape on the Broadway.”
“We strongly believe that our proposed Premier Inn will become an exciting and beneficial addition to this vibrant area of Wimbledon, offering high quality and affordable hotel accommodation designed to bring new visitors and business to the area, helping to boost the local economy and greatly improve the appearance of The Broadway.”
Councillor Katy Neep is understood to have asked for the application to be "called in".
Residents have until Wednesday (June 8) to make their comments on the scheme. You can do this through Merton Council's online planning explorer and searching for application 16/P1149.
The hotel would expect to open in 2018 if approval is granted this year - that would follow six months of demolition and 18 months of building work.
Meanwhile, another hotel plan has been submitted for the site now occupied by The Slug at 12 Hartfield Road.
This seven-storey hotel would house 150 rooms and a ground floor restaurant. Applicant Hermes Property Limited says it would create 21 full-time jobs.
Comments about that scheme can also be made before Wednesday (June 8). Go to Merton council planning explorer and search for application 16/P1374.
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June 4, 2016