Thursday, 11 October 2012

Hotel developers outsmart Council with revised application

How the pavilion used to look
The developers who are at present knocking down the old Mecca site on the Green in order to turn it into a hotel have outsmarted even our Council, famed for it's dealings with developers. Having already knocked down the historic building they have just submitted a revised document which aims to increase the number of rooms from the originally agreed 242 to 322.

The Pavilion building now gone, and with our Council thus in a very weak negotiating position, developers Marvel Green Limited seem set to get their way. And the locals are not happy about it. Mainly because they think that an increase in room numbers will mean that the character of the hotel itself will be fundamentally different. 

Having been pitched as a 4 star hotel the extra numbers they believe mean it is more likely to be a 2-3 star operation, favoured by backpackers and budget travellers. Useful that there is a Walkabout next door then.

The residents are organising themselves to object, the deadline for which is October 30th, with one of them arguing that this is: 
"clearly a down-grade to a 2-3 star budget operation that Developers are trying to sneak under the wire... in essence they are dividing twin rooms into buget units adding 8 extra rooms on the 1st floor, 12 on the 2nd, 11 on the 3rd, 12 on the 4th, 12 on the 5th and 10 on the 6th floors with one extra on the top floor.  
The plans detail 66 extra rooms but obviously planning consent is being sought for 80 extra rooms so that the owners can off-load quickly and easily with planning consent for more rooms already in place if they cannot generate the expected profits! 
If this planning consent is granted it cannot be revoked! a Budget Hotel/Backpackers Hostel on our door step is I believe worth fighting against".
At the heart of all of this is the character of the Bush - often seen as a poor relation to Holland Park next door the chance of the regeneration of the area had been seen by many as a chance to give the area a lift. The much delayed works on the Green are part of that picture too, and to give the Council credit it is signed up to that goal as well.

But on this occasion it seems that the developers have managed to outsmart our Council, and the residents are left fighting a rearguard action to save what they thought they were originally promised.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Chris for bringing this to people's attention. It is a shame that, having now demolished the old listed building, the developer appears now to be seeking to build a quite different hotel from the 4 star building that was originally proposed. One can't help wondering whether they had planned this all along.